This website is dedicated to criticism and creative works inspired by film noir, mystery/crime writing, and hard-boiled literature.
It is a nexus of innovative projects intended to bring noir fans, critics, writers and filmmakers into meaningful dialogue and debate. Ultimately, this website is part of an active workshop exploring the vast potential of noir (its past, present, and future), which we've dubbed the OuFiNoPo—an acronym standing for Workshop of Potential Film Noir. We hope you'll check out our podcasts, our book, and our current and forthcoming multimedia projects, and will contact us—and fellow Noircast contributors—with ideas for other potential noir collaborations.
(Photo caption: A screen grab composite from some of the films covered on Out of the Past Podcast)
Clute and Edwards: The Backstory
Clute and Edwards met as junior faculty members at Saint Mary's College of California. Our first podcasting collaboration, Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir, came out of our shared love of film noir. Since its inception, Out of the Past has followed a consistent show format: each episode investigates a single film in relation to the body of film. We saw podcasting as a medium that would help us capture our ongoing scholarly and interdisciplinary conversations on film noir, as well as a means to share our film discussions with a broader audience of scholars, students, and fans.
(Photo caption: Shannon Clute (left) and Richard Edwards (right) circa 2006)
Six years later, Out of the Past has received over 380,000 downloads worldwide, and it has been downloaded on every continent except Antarctica. We have created over 50 episodes of Out of the Past, and have also expanded our discussion to include other cinephiles, crime writers and film scholars such as Howard Rodman, Mike White, Eddie Muller, and Megan Abbott. Out of the Past has been written about in the Chronicle of Higher Education, cited in the New Media Consortium's Horizon Report, taught as a 'best practice in podcasting' in NITLE workshops by Bryan Alexander, and used as texts in film courses.
In 2006 Clute and Edwards began a second podcast series based on their shared interest in hard-boiled writing. Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed interviewed contemporary crime writers. Each podcast focused on a single recent novel by each author with an engaging and detailed discussion of the author's writing life and craft. Behind the Black Mask continued Clute and Edwards' interest in making scholarly commentary and critical analysis accessible to public audiences.
In 2008 Clute and Edwards were commissioned by Yaddo, the famous artist retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York, to produce a twenty-episode podcast series. Those efforts resulted in Yaddocast: The Archive of the Future, and those podcasts were released in conjunction with a museum retrospective at the New York Public Library entitled "Yaddo: The Making of American Culture." Yaddocast covers the history of Yaddo and its impact on American Arts and Letters by telling the story of twenty artists associated with the retreat beginning with the first episode on Edgar Allan Poe. Other episodes highlighted Yaddo's role in the careers of Aaron Copland, Patricia Highsmith, Flannery O'Connor, Saul Bellow, Langston Hughes, among others.
In December 2011 Clute and Edwards will be publishing their first book, The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism. The book will be published in December 2011 by the University Press of New England, and it is an investigation into film noir that builds on the conversations begun in Out of the Past.
More noir-related and general film projects are on the horizon, including a new open access film journal and an online database project related to their forthcoming book. Please check back with Noircast.net regularly to get updates on the projects of Clute and Edwards.
About Shannon Scott Clute
Shannon Clute is the co-author of The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism (Dartmouth College Press, 2011) and the co-creator of three popular podcast series: Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir, a film history and analysis program; Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed, an author interview show; and Yaddocasdt, the official podcast of the prestigious artists' retreat Yaddo--all with Richard Edwards. Out of the Past was recently selected by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for national radio transmission as part of their Top of the Pods series, and Yaddocast received mention in O, The Oprah Magazine.
A former professor, Clute has been invited to speak on film noir at such institutions as the George Eastman House and WXXI public radio. He is also a scholar and writer of hard-boiled fiction, and his first novel was one of ten semi-finalists in the inaugral Court TV "Search for the Next Great Crime Writer" contest. He works as a brand manager for Turner Classic Movies in Atlanta.
About Richard L. Edwards
Richard L. Edwards holds a PhD in Critical Studies from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. He has taught courses on classic Hollywood films and film noir at Loyola Marymount University, Saint Mary's College of California, and Indiana University.
He is the author of several articles and book chapters on film and media. With Shannon Clute, he is the co-author of The Maltese Touch of Evil (Dartmouth College Press, 2011) and the co-host of thre podcast series, including Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir. Edwards has given over 25 invited talks on topics related to film and meida. Currently, he is the Director of the Integrated Learning Institute at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.