Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir

Episode 29: Detour

Nov. 1, 2006

Edgar G. Ulmer's 1945 film "Detour" is commonly lauded as a B-noir that overcame production limitations with artful minimalism. In this context, instances of obtrusive lighting and camerawork are viewed as minor blemishes--the best quality that could be expected from a poverty row feature. Clute and Edwards argue that the film should be granted a far greater measure of technical mastery, that the so-called flubs purposefully call attention to the very cinematic means used to construct the narrative.In this optic, the film is not good despite its "flubs" but great because of them; they render it a self-conscious noir meta-narrative--a film about the making of noir films. These qualities combine with a great script and superlative acting, by Tom Neal and Ann Savage, to create the template for all noir post-1945. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.

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