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Twenty-first century noir

The term film noir may have come to refer to a body of US films made between 1941 and 1958, but it also conjures up a potent blend of cinematic style and dark material that still inspires directors around the world, among them the most formidable names in Hollywood and in arthouse cinema: Nolan, Lynch, Campion, Mann, Ceylan… The 15 films below – updated from the 12 we presented in our February 2013 issue – represent an attempt to gauge the essence of noir in the 21st century – a genre that allows filmmakers to push the envelope of narrative construction, while also addressing the themes that haunt us, from memory loss to compulsive violence to transgressive sexuality.

By Nick James

Twenty-first century noir
Deep focus

The peak of silent cinema

By Ian Christie

The peak of silent cinema
Deep focus

Maurice Pialat: three steps to magic – a video essay

By Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin

Maurice Pialat: three steps to magic – a video essay
Deep focus

Pre-Code: Hollywood before the censors

By Mike Mashon and James Bell

Pre-Code: Hollywood before the censors