Desert Fury

Lonely Places: Film Noir and the American Landscape

November 13–December 20, 2015

Film noir is often thought of as inseparable from the city—dark, claustrophobic, labyrinthine. But noir films are also set in small towns and suburbs, in desolate landscapes, on the open road or even at sea. Vacant spaces can be as menacing as cramped ones, and the quintessential noir city is Los Angeles—bright, diffuse, and atomized. Drawing on American film noir from 1945 to 1960, this series surveys a variety of settings from Technicolor deserts to snowy mountains, freeways to Southern swamps. Regardless of the locale, all roads lead through the ultimate noir landscape: the mind, which is the darkest city of all.

Organized by guest curator Imogen Sara Smith