a formalist criticism of the noir genre runs the risk of reducing films noirs by noirs to a critique of patriarchy or of capitalism.
Where Pfeil goes beyond most of these essays in both volumes is to link his analyses of modern films noirs to the need for a new cultural and general politics:
In the above listed films noirs and others, the amnesiac's quest to realize the significance of common places and events stands as an especially extravagant example of noir's effort to generate the buzz of the unsuspected.
Although certain films noirs, especially those featuring private investigators, may proceed toward the solution of an enigma in a fairly standard way, my contention is that noir's overriding logic is not hermeneutic in Barthes' sense, but instead hermetic.
Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic films noirs
were referred to as melodramas.
Similarly, the male protagonists of films noirs
often confuse the real woman with her painted representation.