A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Definitive Reference Guide (to give it its full, three-pipe title) — the book to which this website is an “annex” — has just received a remarkably favourable review at the Classic Movies website. A couple of extracts:
It’s a blast to read this book. Though it’s easy to skim for particular periods and countries, I found it most rewarding to read in big chunks. Combing through in this way led to some great discoveries. I’ve now got a viewing list that will keep me busy for a long time. A helpful appendix in the back also groups films by actor, author and director.
Reading the introduction is vital to understanding the language and concepts of noir used throughout the encyclopedia. Grant does an excellent job concisely describing important elements like fate, the dangerous femme, double crosses and the quicksand effect. He also explains godgaming, when a “protagonist believes a false version of reality,” which is in essence the key to the unease that characterizes noir.
I can back up that subtitle, this is an essential reference for any fan of noir or crime movies.