Editors: Paul Duncan and Jurgen Muller
Taschen have this mammoth volume to offer now as part of their film focussed collection. And once again they have kept their standards high whilst adhering to their atypical house style of visuals and text.
Paul Duncan may be the main editor for this title, but Muller is well associated with Taschen’s series of movie books that focus on decades of cinema (Movies of the 70s, Movies of the 80s… etc). The format and layout of this thick volume also follows very closely to that series.
Aiming criticism at the book for the films included seems a bit pointless given the title of the book. Looking at the title, and being familiar with film noir it’s a fair bet that someone could easily guess about 80% of the film titles covered.
With that in mind the book will succeed or fail on content. Taschen like their books to be of the coffee table variety. Big on design, sleek in look and crammed full of colourful prints, often taking up the biggest percentage of the pages. This one is no different. The text is fairly minimal, but Duncan (also no stranger to writing about the subject) keeps it concise and to the point. So there is not fat in any of the writing. But being minimalist it doesn’t really have any deep analysis, but it does manage to stay contextual.
The picture and design layout of the book is superb though. Well researched and really does draw the eye in.
The space on each film averages at 6 pages per film (hence the 688 total page count) so will fill a large hole on a book shelf.