Despite a glut of black and white filters, the digital revolution in videography has all but abandoned the art, science, beauty, and power of cinematic lighting that literally illuminated the Golden Age of motion pictures. Film Noir Light and Shadow explores an era before CGI – a time when every photon mattered and the lighting of a set served a grander purpose than simply rendering its subjects visible. Edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini, the duo behind numerous critically acclaimed studies of other aspects of noir, this anthology presents a series of essays that examine the visual style of the filmmakers of cinema's classic period. Some focus on individual pictures or directors; others discuss elements of style or sub-groups of movies within the movement. All are sharply focused on what makes the noir phenomenon unique in American – and global – cinematic history. Aside from highlighting the innovative work of its editors and their late colleague Robert Porfirio, Film Noir Light and Shadow also shares its light with a bevy of contributors who have written and edited their own books on the subject – a list of luminaries that includes Sheri Chinen Biesen, Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards, Julie Grossman, Delphine Letort, Robert Miklitsch, R. Barton Palmer, Homer Pettey, Marlisa Santos, Imogen Sara Smith, and Tony Williams. As befits the topic, this volume is lavishly illustrated with 500 images that capture the richness and breadth of the classic period's imagery, making it an ideal companion for students of the genre, film historians, sprocket fiends, and the retrospectively inclined.
Alain Silver (Los Angeles, CA) has written or edited almost 30 books, many of which focus on the noir movement, such as The Noir Style and The Film Noir Jigsaw. His articles have appeared in Film Comment, Movie (UK'), 'Wide Angle, Literature/Film Quarterly, and Photon. His filmed screenplays include White Nights (from Dostoyevsky'), 'the Showtime feature Time at the Top, Nightcomer (which he also directed'), 'and Sacred Blood. He has also produced more than two dozen independent features, ranging from Cyborg 2 to the recent Torch. He has commented about noir in numerous interviews and on classic period titles released on DVD.
James Ursini (Los Angeles, CA) co-wrote and co-edited Film Noir the Encyclopedia, the Film Noir Reader series and many other books and anthologies. His film noir DVD commentaries (most often with Alain Silver) range from Out of the Past and The Dark Corner to the more recent Criterion releases of Kiss Me Deadly and Ride the Pink Horse. He has been a producer on features and documentaries, wrote and co-directed the independent neo-noir Nasty Piece of Work, and has lectured on filmmaking at UCLA and other colleges in the Los Angeles area.