Edited by ChiBob on 9/20/2015, 9:13 am
30 some odd years ago I was required (forced or instructed, perhaps) to read some semiotics . For all I know semiology and the overall linguistic basis of criticism isn't even used in film studies any longer. To a large extent that soured me on academic film theory, so I fell back into the "pleasure principle in viewing films in general, and noir in particular.
I cut my teeth back in the 1970's on Schrader's "Notes on Film Noir", and Raymond Durgnat's "Paint It Black: The Family Tree of Film Noir." I had the pleasure of taking a class from Durgnat on Film Populism. His cranky contrary leftism in countering his ideological cohorts in advanced film theory was bracing. His overall concept of film theory resided outside of a stuffy hermetically sealed world, in place of looking at films (and noir) as part of a larger societal and cultural canvas, in which he always sought to make connections of what was on the screen to the larger environment it came from. I’ve tried to follow this line of thinking over the years, but to follow what RichardW said, and paraphrasing the old shipping clerk in Out Of The Past, who says to Mitchum - “I always say everybody’s right.” It's my "get out of jail free" card:-)