This course will explore a number of canonical films noirs and neo-noirs with attention to some of the hard-boiled novels or short stories on which they are based.The primary lenses through which we will view these works surround issues of adaptation, genre, and historical contexts. Is film noir a genre and how are various generic conventions and themes translated from literature to film (and back again)? How does the process of adaptation transform and alter these texts in relation to formal and technological issues of medium? What are the specific cultural and social contexts for these works and how do they engage with their historical moments as well as with more trans-historical conventions of genre and narrative form? Films may include: Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946), John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon (1941), Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944), Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil (1958), Francois Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player (1960), Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974), James Foley’s After Dark, My Sweet (1990), and David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1997).