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MACAU Reuters - Growing numbers of Chinese are using the country's state-backed bankcards to illegally spirit billions of dollars abroad, a Reuters examination has found. This underground money is flowing across the border into the gambling hub of Macau, a former Portuguese colony that like Hong Kong is an autonomous region of China.

And the conduit for the cash is the Chinese government-supported payment card network, China UnionPay. In a warren of gritty streets around Macau's ritzy casino resorts, hundreds of neon-lit jewellery, watch and pawn shops are doing a brisk business giving mainland Chinese customers cash by allowing them to use UnionPay cards to make fake purchases - a way of evading China's strict currency-export controls.

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On a recent day at the Choi Seng Jewellery and Watches company, a middle-aged woman strode to the counter past dusty shelves of watches. She signed a credit card receipt describing the transaction as a "general sale", stuffed the cash into her handbag and strolled over to the Ponte 16 casino next door. Internal discussion documents prepared by UnionPay and by financial authorities in Macau and China show these fake sale cash-backs are widespread in such retail stores.

All Jackpots Casino No Deposit Bonus Codes practice violates China's anti-money-laundering regulations as well as restrictions on currency exports, according to Chinese central bank documents reviewed by Reuters. Chinese authorities also fear the UnionPay conduit Stake Casino Essentials Careersafe being used by corrupt officials and business people to send money out of the country. It's unclear why the central bank, the Peoples Bank of China PBOChasn't cracked down harder on the practice, although the documents Reuters reviewed show the bank was aware it had become a growing problem.

Industry experts point to a weak enforcement culture in China, a reluctance to hurt Macau financially with 80 percent of the city's revenues drawn from gambling, and a willingness to tolerate some capital flight - especially if it can be tracked through names on bank cards.

Moreover, the rapid growth of UnionPay, including the spread of its terminals at retail stores across the world, is playing a key role in China's strategy for making the yuan a global currency.

No one knows for sure how much Chinese money is being channeled illegally into Macau. Tam says his estimate is based on his analysis of Macau's finances and interviews with gambling industry participants. A senior UnionPay executive said the Shanghai-based company has long been aware of the payment card abuse in Macau and elsewhere, but was limited in its ability to act.

That's because the Stake Casino Essentials Careersafe responsibility lies with authorities in Macau or any other country where the fraud is taking place, he said. Though relatively unknown in the West, UnionPay has quietly grown to become one of the biggest card brands and payment networks in the world, accepted in countries. There are more UnionPay cards in circulation now than any other brand - 3.

If UnionPay poses a problem for Chinese authorities, it is a problem of their own making. The card brand is often seen as an arm of Chinese state policy.

Its founding shareholders were 85 Chinese banks, led by the five biggest state-owned banks. They declined requests to be interviewed. UnionPay dominates the card market in China thanks to a central bank decree that requires all card issuers, including foreign ones, to process their yuan-based transactions through UnionPay's electronic payment network. All Chinese merchants and automated teller machines are required to process their yuan transactions through UnionPay.

The World Trade Organization in July ruled that China was discriminating against foreign card brands, but it made no specific recommendations. Foreign card brands still have to use UnionPay for settlements in China.

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UnionPay's increasing use overseas is part of Beijing's multi-pronged strategy to eventually open up China's capital account and internationalize the yuan, which is formally known as the renminbi or yuan. Beijing also eased restrictions on many kinds of capital transfers as it gradually loosens up control over the currency, making it easier for money to leave China's borders.

The efforts have paid dividends.

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The renminbi has already overtaken the euro to become the second-most used currency in trade finance, according to data from global transaction services organization SWIFT. It is the real son of the government. At the same time, these changes have vastly complicated the compliance challenges for UnionPay. While the card system is helping monetary authorities open up the capital account, it is also enabling people to funnel their ill-gotten gains out of China, said Yan. Macau is a prime gateway for this activity.

It is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, and so Chinese gamblers bring vast sums of money here. Because Macau is administered separately from the mainland, there are restrictions on how much currency mainland Chinese can take into the gambling haven.

But gamblers find ways of skirting currency controls when they cross into Macau.

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And much of the money these mainlanders ostensibly take to Macau for gambling, Chinese authorities believe, is actually going abroad into bank Multiway Casino Dealer Memes De Prism Casino Login. Macau is now the world's biggest gambling hub, with revenues seven times those of Las Vegas. Nearly 40 percent of that went to the government in taxes. Beijing is particularly concerned about the role of this capital flight in the country's endemic government corruption scandals.

An internal research report in by the PBOC identified UnionPay cards as one of the main tools for corrupt individuals to facilitate cross-border transfer of funds. The central bank report said the practice was growing rapidly. Many card users follow their money abroad. The ubiquitous UnionPay card, with its instant access to piles of cash, has made the task of whisking money out of China far easier for ordinary Chinese.

Around 90 percent of those transactions were "highly concentrated in jewellery, ornament and luxury watch sales", the report said. Where does Stake Casino Essentials Careersafe money come from? All the counter-parties involved benefit from these cashback transactions, an industry source said. The retail merchant makes money on the exchange rate, the way a currency trader would.

The Macau banks overseeing the merchant charge 1 percent to 2 percent on the transaction. And the UnionPay card-issuing bank back in China will generally charge around 1 percent on the transaction, the source said. The cashback activity is spreading beyond Macau to other Chinese tourist destinations, including Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, people in the credit-card industry say. Taiwan authorities said in January, given the abnormal UnionPay transactions they found, they would consider setting up a cross-straits mechanism to ensure timely information exchange and prevent illegal money laundering, according to CNA, its semi-official news agency.

Taiwan's cabinet is considering the proposal. China isn't standing still. A decade ago, the government began trying to rein in money laundering, and since then it has amended criminal laws and strengthened commercial banking rules.

UnionPay officials say they are trying to stamp out the illicit transfers. That limit applies to actual sale transactions. UnionPay's rivals, meanwhile, don't appear to be playing the cashback game. Macau jewellery stores visited for this article said Visa and Mastercard were not generally used for cashback transactions.

A senior executive with a rival card brand said his company had "zero tolerance" for the kind of cashbacks allowed by UnionPay. Both as a bank and a card network, we're supposed to close it down immediately. In a written response to questions for this article, UnionPay said it "has always strictly prohibited the Stake Casino Essentials Careersafe of cards for cash without any goods being purchased and has collaborated from many sides to boost the investigation of such risks.

According to UnionPay's "Operating Regulations," overseas banks participating in the UnionPay system are required to close the accounts of merchants found to be engaged in fraudulent transactions.

But local authorities such as the Macau Monetary Authority have the primary responsibility for investigating suspicious cross-border transactions, the company says. The Macau Monetary Authority said in a written response that bank card-related businesses in Macau have "been subject to very stringent ongoing supervision.

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The authority noted it has "come across a couple of cases of supervisory concerns, and legal proceedings were taken against the parties concerned, including merchants. Deborah Ng, head of Macau's Financial Intelligence Office, said UnionPay has tried to take a more active role recently to "take care of whether there are some irregular activities involved.

But the card company can do more, she said in an interview. A Chow Tai Fook spokesman confirmed that. He said the store had "no specific limits on the amount that our customers can buy using any form of payment, as long as the payment is approved by the bank when we swipe the card. At a jewellery store inside the Venetian Macau casino run by Las Vegas Sands, a manager said card cashbacks constituted most of the shop's business.

The shop was run by the owner of a VIP room or "junket" operator, which brings in big gamblers from the mainland. An executive at Las Vegas Sands, speaking on condition of anonymity, said vendors with UnionPay card-swiping machines have been caught wandering around the casino. So it is like they are getting cash out in China. When we see them on the floor we kick them out. That practice also exists outside the casinos, too.

Macau's merchants lately have tried to better disguise the UnionPay transactions by routing transactions electronically across the border to China to escape the scrutiny of Macau authorities, a banker in Macau said. A UnionPay memo to Casino Deposit Yuan Renminbi Money and counterparties in Macau, dated October 29 and reviewed by Reuters, said the company was aware of these practices and had initiated steps to stop it. It urged Macau banks and UnionPay counterparties to crack down by blacklisting such retailers and fining them.

Stake Casino Essentials Careersafe said in the memo it hoped that all parties with UnionPay linked business would make a "concerted effort to rectify Macau's UnionPay card transaction market discipline and sustain its stable longer term development. A visit to Macau since the memo was issued, however, found cashback services to be flourishing.

Inside seven such stores, customers were observed swiping UnionPay cards at glass counters and receiving Stake Casino Essentials Careersafe of cash without actually buying anything. A yellow sign carried the slogan: Editing by Bill Tarrant and Michael Williams. This Casino Tiguan Vw Suv why you should be buying gold. You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. For security reasons you should upgrade your browser. Please go to Windows Updates and install the latest version.

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Caesar, the most powerful Casino Renminbi Money Yuan Deposit It's unclear why the central bank, the Peoples Bank of China PBOChasn't cracked down harder on the practice, although the documents Reuters reviewed show the bank was aware it had become a growing problem.

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All Chinese merchants and automated teller machines are required to process their yuan transactions through UnionPay. The World Trade Organization in July ruled that China was discriminating against foreign card brands, but it made no specific recommendations. Foreign card brands still have to use UnionPay for settlements in China. UnionPay's increasing use overseas is part of Beijing's multi-pronged strategy to eventually open up China's capital account and internationalize the yuan, which is formally known as the renminbi or yuan.

Beijing also eased restrictions on many kinds of capital transfers as it gradually loosens up control over the currency, making it easier for money to leave China's borders. The efforts have paid dividends. The renminbi has already overtaken the euro to become the second-most used currency in trade finance, according to data from global transaction services organization SWIFT.

It is the real son of the government. At the same time, these changes have vastly complicated the compliance challenges for UnionPay. While the card system is helping monetary authorities open up the capital account, it is also enabling people to funnel their ill-gotten gains out of China, said Yan. Macau is a prime gateway for this activity. It is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, and so Chinese gamblers bring vast sums of money here.

Because Macau is administered separately from the mainland, there are restrictions on how much currency mainland Chinese can take into the gambling haven. But gamblers find ways of skirting currency controls when they cross into Macau. And much of the money these mainlanders ostensibly take to Macau for gambling, Chinese authorities believe, is actually going abroad into bank Multiway Casino Dealer Memes De Amor.

Macau is now the world's biggest gambling hub, with revenues seven times those of Las Vegas. Nearly 40 percent of that went to the government in taxes. Beijing is particularly concerned about the role of this capital flight in the country's endemic government corruption scandals.

An internal research report in by the PBOC identified UnionPay cards as one of the main tools for corrupt individuals to facilitate cross-border transfer of funds. The central bank report said the practice was growing rapidly. Many card users follow their money abroad. The ubiquitous UnionPay card, with its instant access to piles of cash, has made the task of whisking money out of China far easier for ordinary Chinese. Around 90 percent of those transactions were "highly concentrated in jewellery, ornament and luxury watch sales", the report said.

Where does this money come from? All the counter-parties involved benefit from these cashback transactions, an industry source said. The retail merchant makes money on the exchange rate, the way a currency trader would. The Macau banks overseeing the merchant charge 1 percent to 2 percent on the transaction. And the UnionPay card-issuing bank back in China will generally charge around 1 percent on the transaction, the source said. The cashback activity is spreading beyond Macau to other Chinese tourist destinations, including Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, people in the credit-card industry say.

Taiwan authorities said in January, given the abnormal UnionPay transactions they found, they would consider setting up a cross-straits mechanism to ensure timely information exchange and prevent illegal money laundering, according to CNA, its semi-official news agency. Taiwan's cabinet is considering the proposal. China isn't standing still. A decade ago, the government began trying to rein in money laundering, and since then it has amended criminal laws and strengthened commercial banking rules.

UnionPay officials say they are trying to stamp out the illicit transfers. That limit applies to actual sale transactions. UnionPay's rivals, meanwhile, don't appear to be playing the cashback game. Macau jewellery stores visited for this article said Visa and Mastercard were not generally used for cashback transactions.

A senior executive with a rival card brand said his company had "zero tolerance" for the kind of cashbacks allowed by UnionPay. Both as a bank and a card network, we're supposed to close it down immediately. In a written response to questions for this article, UnionPay said it "has always strictly prohibited the swiping of cards for cash without any goods being purchased and has collaborated from many sides to boost the investigation of such risks.

According to UnionPay's "Operating Regulations," overseas banks participating in the UnionPay system are required to close the accounts of merchants found to be engaged in fraudulent transactions. But local authorities such as the Macau Monetary Authority have the primary responsibility for investigating suspicious cross-border transactions, the company says. The Macau Monetary Authority said in a written response that bank card-related businesses in Macau have "been subject to very stringent ongoing supervision.

The authority noted it has "come across a couple of cases of supervisory concerns, and legal proceedings were taken against the parties concerned, including merchants. Deborah Ng, head of Macau's Financial Intelligence Office, said UnionPay has tried to take a more active role recently to "take care of whether there are some irregular activities involved.

But the card company can do more, she said in an interview. A Chow Tai Fook spokesman confirmed that. He said the store had "no specific limits on the amount that our customers can buy using any form of payment, as long as the payment is approved by the bank when we swipe the card. At a jewellery store inside the Venetian Macau casino run by Las Vegas Sands, a manager said card cashbacks constituted most of the shop's business.

The shop was run by the owner of a VIP room or "junket" operator, which brings in big gamblers from the mainland.

An executive at Las Vegas Sands, speaking on condition of anonymity, said vendors with UnionPay card-swiping machines have been caught wandering around the casino. So it is like they are getting cash out in China. When we see them on the floor we kick them out. That practice also exists outside the casinos, too.

Macau's merchants lately have tried to better disguise the UnionPay transactions by routing transactions electronically across the border to China to escape the scrutiny of Macau authorities, a banker in Macau said.

A UnionPay memo to Casino Deposit Yuan Renminbi Money and counterparties in Macau, dated October 29 and reviewed by Reuters, said the company was aware of these practices and had initiated steps to stop it. It urged Macau banks and UnionPay counterparties to crack down by blacklisting such retailers and fining them.

UnionPay said in the memo it hoped that all parties with UnionPay linked business would make a "concerted effort to rectify Macau's UnionPay card transaction market discipline and sustain its stable longer term development. A visit to Macau since the memo was issued, however, found cashback services to be flourishing.

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MACAU Reuters - Growing numbers of Chinese are using the country's state-backed bankcards to illegally spirit billions of dollars abroad, a Reuters examination has found. This underground money is flowing across the border into the gambling hub of Macau, a former Portuguese colony that like Hong Kong is an autonomous region of China. And the conduit for the cash is the Chinese government-supported payment card network, China UnionPay.

In a warren of gritty streets around Macau's ritzy casino resorts, hundreds of neon-lit jewellery, watch and pawn shops are doing a brisk business giving mainland Chinese customers cash by allowing them to use UnionPay cards to make fake purchases - a way of evading China's strict currency-export controls.

On a recent day at the Choi Seng Jewellery and Watches company, a middle-aged woman strode to the counter past dusty shelves of watches. She signed a credit card receipt describing the transaction as a "general sale", stuffed the cash into her handbag and strolled over to the Ponte 16 casino next door.

Internal discussion documents prepared by UnionPay and by financial authorities in Macau and China show these fake sale cash-backs are widespread in such retail stores. The practice violates China's anti-money-laundering regulations as well as restrictions on currency exports, according to Chinese central bank documents reviewed by Reuters. Chinese authorities also fear the UnionPay conduit is being used by corrupt officials and business people to send money out of the country. It's unclear why the central bank, the Peoples Bank of China PBOChasn't cracked down harder on the practice, although the documents Reuters reviewed show the bank was aware it had become a growing problem.

Industry experts point to a weak enforcement culture in China, a reluctance to hurt Macau financially with 80 percent of the city's revenues drawn from gambling, and a willingness to tolerate some capital flight - especially if it can be tracked through names on bank cards. Moreover, the rapid growth of UnionPay, including the spread of its terminals at retail stores across the world, is playing a key role in China's strategy for making the yuan a global currency.

No one knows for sure how much Chinese money is being channeled illegally into Macau. Tam says his estimate is based on his analysis of Macau's finances and interviews with gambling industry participants. A senior UnionPay executive said the Shanghai-based company has long been aware of the payment card abuse in Macau and elsewhere, but was limited in its ability to act.

That's because the primary responsibility lies with authorities in Macau or any other country where the fraud is taking place, he said. Though relatively unknown in the West, UnionPay has quietly grown to become one of the biggest card brands and payment networks in the world, accepted in countries.

There are more UnionPay cards in circulation now than any other brand - 3. If UnionPay poses a problem for Chinese authorities, it is a problem of their own making. The card brand is often seen as an arm of Chinese state policy. Its founding shareholders were 85 Chinese banks, led by the five biggest state-owned banks.

They declined requests to be interviewed. UnionPay dominates the card market in China thanks to a central bank decree that requires all card issuers, including foreign ones, to process their yuan-based transactions through UnionPay's electronic payment network.

All Chinese merchants and automated teller machines are required to process their yuan transactions through UnionPay. The World Trade Organization in July ruled that China was discriminating against foreign card brands, but it made no specific recommendations. Foreign card brands still have to use UnionPay for settlements in China. UnionPay's increasing use overseas is part of Beijing's multi-pronged strategy to eventually open up China's capital account and internationalize the yuan, which is formally known as the renminbi or yuan.

Beijing also eased restrictions on many kinds of capital transfers as it gradually loosens up control over the currency, making it easier for money to leave China's borders. The efforts have paid dividends. The renminbi has already overtaken the euro to become the second-most used currency in trade finance, according to data from global transaction services organization SWIFT.

It is the real son of the government. At the same time, these changes have vastly complicated the compliance challenges for UnionPay. While the card system is helping monetary authorities open up the capital account, it is also enabling people to funnel their ill-gotten gains out of China, said Yan.

Macau is a prime gateway for this activity. It is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, and so Chinese gamblers bring vast sums of money here. Because Macau is administered separately from the mainland, there are restrictions on how much currency mainland Chinese can take into the gambling haven. But gamblers find ways of skirting currency controls when they cross into Macau.

And much of the money these mainlanders ostensibly take to Macau for gambling, Chinese authorities believe, is actually going abroad into bank Multiway Casino Dealer Memes De Amor. Macau is now the world's biggest gambling hub, with revenues seven times those of Las Vegas.

Nearly 40 percent of that went to the government in taxes. Beijing is particularly concerned about the role of this capital flight in the country's endemic government corruption scandals. An internal research report in by the PBOC identified UnionPay cards as one of the main tools for corrupt individuals to facilitate cross-border transfer of funds. The central bank report said the practice was growing rapidly.

Many card users follow their money abroad. The ubiquitous UnionPay card, with its instant access to piles of cash, has made the task of whisking money out of China far easier for ordinary Chinese. Around 90 percent of those transactions were "highly concentrated in jewellery, ornament and luxury watch sales", the report said.

Where does this money come from? All the counter-parties involved benefit from these cashback transactions, an industry source said. The retail merchant makes money on the exchange rate, the way a currency trader would. The Macau banks overseeing the merchant charge 1 percent to 2 percent on the transaction. And the UnionPay card-issuing bank back in China will generally charge around 1 percent on the transaction, the source said.

The cashback activity is spreading beyond Macau to other Chinese tourist destinations, including Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, people in the credit-card industry say. Taiwan authorities said in January, given the abnormal UnionPay transactions they found, they would consider setting up a cross-straits mechanism to ensure timely information exchange and prevent illegal money laundering, according to CNA, its semi-official news agency.

Taiwan's cabinet is considering the proposal. China isn't standing still. A decade ago, the government began trying to rein in money laundering, and since then it has amended criminal laws and strengthened commercial banking rules. UnionPay officials say they are trying to stamp out the illicit transfers. That limit applies to actual sale transactions. UnionPay's rivals, meanwhile, don't appear to be playing the cashback game. As the following overview will demonstrate, both models have inherent limitations.

Many film styles, including German expressionism, were explicitly influenced by psychoanalysis. Noir also proves highly conducive to a psychoanalytic critique, given its themes, stylistic embellishments, temporally inverted narratives, visual properties chiaroscuro, low-key lighting38 and distorted visual angles and its propensity for symbol and allegory. The s were the high point of assimilation of Freudian theory into American culture.

From the s, psychoanalytic thought became increasingly sociological in orientation. Moreover, the triadic structure discernible in most films noirs—in which the hardboiled hero is typically pitted against both the femme fatale and an older, more patriarchal male figure—clearly lends itself to an oedipal interpretation. Other theorists using the psychoanalytic approach also believe the relationship between the two male characters of Double Indemnity to be of primary importance. In line with the stance of both Johnston and Krutnik, Maxfield asserts the imperative of the hero setting himself against all patriarchal figures.

For Walker, similarly, the noir hero descends into the underworld, a description suggesting a picaresque journey inherent to the male human condition. Interpreting the noir hero within such prescriptive oedipal parameters is problematic on several levels. It implies a universal or transhistorical rite of passage that is assumed to be an overriding imperative of the male subject, impervious to socio-historical coordinates.

Furthermore, such a model veers towards absolutism, and as such overlooks nuance. Much has also been written on the femme fatale using a Lacanian framework. The femme fatale is thus understood as an ahistorical and generalised catalyst through which the male subject activates his revolt against the patriarchal system. As this is an unsustainable position, Neff must ultimately die Harvey Examples of this approach to the femme fatale are numerous.

For Creed, the noir text investigates the woman, who is situated outside the law. It is only through her annihilation—or absorption into patriarchal culture through marriage or possession by a man—that the phallocentric integrity of the text can be maintained Creed Whilst contributing significantly to a theorisation of the femme fatale and noir hero, these debates nonetheless jettison any considerations of socio-historical specificity.

The psychoanalytic interpretations of the male desire for the noir temptress are also marred by the same universalisation. Rather than understanding the enraptured gaze of the noir hero towards this beautiful yet feared woman as an imperative of living in the modern metropolis in which all becomes spectacle and commodity, and in which the new woman becomes an urban prostitute, a psychoanalytic model posits such desire as a transhistorical male trait.

Copjec believes noir to effect an oedipalisation in which: In this paradigm, the femme fatale acts as a kind of double for the male protagonist, created in order to contain the excess or jouissance he at once desires and fears.

Instead, Cowie proposes a great deal of female agency in the film noir canon. As Dayan explains, a Lacanian style of film analysis ascribes primacy to interpersonal connections, since the Symbolic order the intermediate level of human reality through which nature is transformed into culture is essentially an order concerning relationships Dayan Given the triadic structures of most films noirs, it is understandable that a psychoanalytic model of interpretation has proven so tenacious and popular.

As a paradigmatic noir text, Double Indemnity is indeed apposite for such a reading, with Neff representing the Imaginary whilst Keyes, with his mercantile and rational persona, signifies the world governed by patriarchal order.

That Neff murders Dietrichson, whose corporate identity as an oil executive casts him as the ultimate representative of a capitalist economy, would further support such a deconstruction. A reading that applies the immutable tenets of Lacanian psychoanalysis, however, can be often prescriptive and restrictive. Elsewhere, central concerns of modernity are highlighted in a psychoanalytic interpretation, yet approached from a transhistorical standpoint.

As such, it needs to be analysed from within an historical as well as a theoretical context. Imbricating with the popular psychoanalytic approach is a post-structuralist feminist discourse. This has also been widely applied to film noir. In other words, because the story emanates from the male protagonist, supposedly consigning the female characters to visual objects of pleasure and desire spectacles to be consumed by appropriating either a masculine gaze or a masochistic female one , then the text must necessarily be representative of the patriarchal order within which it is produced.

Such a view does not take into account economic, cultural or social factors arising out of changes wrought by the urbanisation of desire. On a purely visual level, the world inhabited by the fatal woman of noir is characterised by chiaroscuro, distortion, low-key lighting and compositional fragmentation of her body.

How real is she? What, precisely, does she represent? How does she differ from more classical modes of representing woman? To what extent is she merely a projection of male desire? The femme fatale is deliberately constructed as an enigma, and this innate, frustrating and tantalising elusiveness would seem to invite a hermeneutic quest.

Indeed, many investigations focus upon her unintelligibility, her essential unknowability, and the fact that she is positioned on the limits of rational knowledge. In these arguments, the femme fatale is typically proposed as an inscrutable epistemological gap or impasse.

The fetishisation of the surface, contends Graham, renders Elsa as a site of ambiguity and disturbance. Doane insightfully offers a genealogy stretching back to Baudelaire, Gautier and pre-Raphaelite painters such as Rossetti, thus aligning the noir temptress with modernity, decadence and symbolism Doane Ultimately, however, her argument remains polemic and rhetorical, rendering her work an excellent departure point rather than an exhaustive historical investigation in itself.

Psychoanalytic and post-structuralist feminist critiques at times point in provocative and interesting directions, yet often fail to transcend the inherent restrictions of their respective paradigms.

Other psychoanalytic critiques also raise points that could be further explicated in relation to modernity. As will be demonstrated in the following section, the other dominant critical approach, in which film noir is seen to reflect postwar anxiety, also proves restrictive, although in different ways.

In its aim to uncover specific social, cultural, political and historical influences which shape the noir text, this sociological model is heuristically similar to that proposed by this thesis. Ironically, even early theorists who are valorised for their musings on modernity were known to adopt this tendency. Like its Gallic counterparts, early Anglo-American criticism perceived a strong causal link between noir and the bleak mood of postwar America.

For Powdermaker, this alienation was a result of the trauma engendered by living through two world wars, leading to what she describes as a darker and more pessimistic style of filmmaking Powdermaker Greenberg, one of the first Anglo-American scholars to see film noir as a canon deserving of critical enquiry, also felt that its sensibility reflected a wartime and postwar spirit. Indeed, so committed to the zeitgeist stance is Tyler that he sees Double Indemnity as a parabolic enactment of the trauma of war.

And is not [Keyes] For Silver and Ward, film noir is a wholly American style in which historically specific cultural preoccupations are enacted, effecting a mass catharsis. For Palmer, film noir reflects a postwar cultural dissonance relating specifically to moral questions about the connection between being upright and being successful Palmer Arthur believes the dystopianism of the noir landscape to engage with wartime trauma, albeit in a civilian setting cited in Schon Elsewhere, Arthur contends that the alienating city landscape through which the noir hero moves represents a disintegrating postwar urban order Arthur He claims that noir reflects a mass cultural phenomenon of paranoid schizophrenia.

Because of the remarkable popularity of the zeitgeist framework the above is only a small selection of examples , many s films noirs have been interpreted as allegories of postwar trauma. A man with a shady past, trying to live a normal life as a welladjusted American, is propelled by a combination of circumstance and conscience to justify his citizenship not on the basis of his present activities, but by accounting for his past dubious connections and allegiances with people and organizations working against the social order Maltby , p.

In his investigation into postwar masculinity, Corber proposes the noir hero as an allegorical site where conflicts regarding the American dream promulgated from the late s onwards were enacted. Both Double Indemnity and Neff have been likewise deconstructed as reflections of a mid-twentieth century American cultural sensibility. A second hearing took place in The zeitgeist stance has also been extensively employed to analyse the femme fatale, who purportedly encapsulates a number of fears and anxieties regarding changing gender roles in the postwar cultural climate.

Moving into new spheres of production and business during the war, women were afforded higher status and new professional and career opportunities.

This empowerment threatened the phallic regime, theorists argued, necessitating a cinematic pathologisation of female strength. This reading of the femme fatale is reiterated by Rich Rich and Schrader.

Importantly for Schrader, the emancipated wartime woman also discovered an unprecedented sexual liberty and was thus able to indulge in affairs with more ease, leading to a highly sexualised cinematic representation cited in Schon For Farber, this cinematic representation of the powerful woman reflects the postwar anxiety over female emancipation Farber Hirsch agrees with this stance.

These discussions do not offer a broader genealogy. Nor do they invoke the figure of the new woman for comparative analysis. Because of this, they fail to consider the fact that these levels of female liberty, emancipation, mobility and autonomy were also manifestly present in late nineteenth and early twentieth century modernity. That the postwar period gave rise to a dark new vision is a persuasive argument. It is certainly tempting to allegorise Neff and other noir protagonists as archetypal twentieth century anti-heroes, existentially tortured, peripheralised by a consumer society, alienated by an uncaring capitalist workplace, traumatised by the enormity of war and emasculated by the emancipated wartime woman.

Indeed, there is no doubt that a mood of bleak disillusionment and uncertainty did exist in this historical period, and that returning veterans felt displaced and may have had difficulty in acclimatising to an increasingly commodified culture in which gender roles had been radically altered. It is important, however, to point to the shortcomings of the zeitgeist approach.

Firstly, it assumes that Hollywood is a monolithic power, consistently and swiftly responsive to contemporary cultural preoccupations without reflecting wider socio-historical patterns. Secondly, it implicitly normalises a rigidly delimited notion of history as being characterised by discrete segments, none of which are ever contextualised into a larger temporal field.

Not only does this elide the influence of nineteenth century modernity, but it also disregards upheavals in the more recent past, including the deeply embedded effects of the trauma of the First World War. Although some theorists by the late s were lamenting the fact that the zeitgeist assumption went largely unquestioned Damico ; Maltby , few were willing to forcefully challenge its hegemony.

Maltby may problematise the 47 Screenplay by Raymond Chandler. Elsewhere, interesting issues are raised within the parameters of the zeitgeist discourse.

Noting that wartime women had abandoned their clerical and low-status domestic jobs to secure work in government and other prestigious spheres, Rabinowitz considers how these cultural changes impacted upon the cinematic representation of the femme fatale. Rabinowitz speaks of modern women living alone, moving freely through the metropolis and claiming urban space as their own.

Rabinowitz also draws a parallel between the noir femme fatale and the single women portrayed in the photographs of Esther Bubley—women living transient, anonymous yet independent lives in boarding houses in Washington DC in the early s. Yet whilst Rabinowitz highlights themes relevant to modernity, her investigation remains resolutely restricted to a relatively short period mainly the s and s and is thus compromised, at least to some extent, by zeitgeist delimitation.

No consideration is given, then, to 48 Maltby points out that many genre films produced by the Hollywood studio system in the s were antithetical to a noir sensibility.

In fact, the majority of box-office successes in the postwar years were rather traditional films, many of which were adapted from stage or literature Maltby See also Ray Rather, he is a man of the city, an adventurer, fully involved in the problems he sets out to solve Karimi , p. And yet, as the above overview of the critical corpus has demonstrated, an assumption that the noir text is solely reflective of its contemporaneous cultural epoch is a limiting stance.

It precludes a fuller and more diachronic understanding of the broader historical forces that shape film noir, its hardboiled hero and fatal woman. Recourse to mythical structures is particularly prevalent in studies of the temptress and the desire she elicits. These discourses typically position the femme fatale as an evil force of legendary status. Place is another scholar who suggests that female representation in the noir canon is determined by a structure of binary opposition, and moreover one which is based upon sexuality.

Many of these readings owe a strong legacy to a Judeo-Christian theology of dualism, in which the moral absolutes of good or evil were conceptualised as dichotomous entities. According to this schema, the noir femme fatale is the treacherous woman who is defined by a pathological sexual voracity. As such, she is positioned relationally in a model that normalises the desires of the male victims who are usually innocent albeit led astray by their libidinous desires.

The sexual and aberrant woman, conversely, is the incarnation of erotic evil. This tendency to mythify the noir hero and femme fatale continues in contemporary scholarship.

Lorelei was a figure of German legend who threw herself into a river in despair over a faithless lover. Upon her death, she was transformed into a siren whose hypnotic song lured sailors to their death. Retrieved September 20, from Encyclopedia Mythica, http: Their song which may or may not have been accompanied by musical instruments was said to make men forget their spouses, children and homes.

Hearing the song, sailors would attempt to swim towards the island and either drown or reach the island only to waste away on its shores Stableford ; Walker c.

McArthur, who perceives an inherent misogyny in the way the noir woman almost always sexually enslaves the protagonist, nevertheless also subscribes to this mythification of the femme fatale. Selby reverts to Christian models of good and evil in order to understand Double Indemnity, using semantically laden terminology. For Selby, the moral terrain depicted in Double Indemnity is simplistically binarised, with Neff as the evil antithesis of Keyes, who is the guardian of the law.

Man at once desires [the femme fatale] and fears her power over him. Drawing man away from his goal, her sexuality intervenes destructively in his life. Marked as evil because of her open sexuality, such a woman must be destroyed … Kaplan , p. Such dogged subscription to mythical structures not only ensures a terminally dehistoricised critical corpus, but it also results in absolutist analyses devoid of nuance or complexity.

Paradoxically, when broader historical precedents are sought, the noir hero is often further mythified by being connected to American discourses of national identity, in which an ethos of individualism and rugged masculinity a central element. Abbott likewise believes the pulp protagonist to hark back to the lone hero of American frontier myth, albeit recontextualised into the postwar period Abbott The application of mythical structures is problematic on several levels.

Secondly, it fails to adequately accommodate socio-historical specificity. All of the models discussed thus far have contributed to an extensive understanding of the film noir canon. And yet their respective limitations, also chronicled above, necessitate the formulation of a new paradigm in which social and historical forces are more thoroughly considered and forcefully applied.

As the following section demonstrates, some innovative theorists have at times succeeded in introducing or incorporating the concept of modernity into their discussions on film noir, thus paving the way for the development of a rehistoricised model. Telotte is another scholar whose work on film noir encompasses modernity yet calls for a more comprehensive application of its theories and coordinates. For Telotte, Double Indemnity is a film which problematises the discourse of truth Telotte Writing in the mids, Chabrol noted that criminality in noir is seen from an ontological or metaphysical point of view which problematises everything, thus failing to offer a clear moral perspective Chabrol The postwar period was, Polan asserts, a very decentring historical moment.

Quoting Baudrillard, Polan notes that any social organisation in which consumer items are a central feature is fundamentally unstable. Argues Polan, there were other social changes—such as the alienation inherent in modern labour—that also contributed to the decentred nature of the subject Polan These observations clearly invite further socio-historical contextualisation.

The consumer society, industrialisation and decentred subjectivity to which Polan alludes are in fact key indices of modern life, and as such can be traced back to the nineteenth century. Similarly, debates relating to the ontology and aetiology of the noir hero, most of which emphatically position him within a post-WWII context, could be expanded to encompass early modernity.

If, however, the noir hero were positioned within a wider socio-historical field, his angst existential and otherwise would be better understood as a response to modernity.

For instance, Gallagher comments that: Phyllis is undoubtedly a valuable object, a desirable and seemingly possessable [sic] commodity.

Her bleached blond hair, her flashy jewelry, her vulgarly provocative dress and undress all appeal to Walter Gallagher , p. Like the new woman, Phyllis is herself a commodity circulating in the modern marketplace, and as such becomes aligned with the modern prostitute.

As with her nineteenth century predecessor, Phyllis is enamoured of artifice and commerce. An historical contextualisation would better highlight these similarities. In a convincing argument, Wallace explores ways in which lesbianism is rendered visible, legible or else problematised in Bound.

Many incisive, germane and valuable observations have been made. Yet the reliance upon ahistorical theoretical models, or else circumscribed historical attributions, elides the importance of modernity as a guiding force in structuring the noir world and its hero. The debates enumerated throughout this chapter have been extremely important in contributing to an instructive critical corpus on film noir.

What is now needed is a cross-disciplinary, historically inflected approach that moves beyond the parameters of the current debates. The following chapter provides an overview of the ascendance throughout the nineteenth century of the phenomenon of modernity. It is this new subject of modernity who provides the template for the hero of s film noir.

The remaining chapters seek to incorporate and apply these findings to Double Indemnity and other contemporaneous films noirs. In doing this, the existing critical corpus will be systematically rehistoricised and thus reinvigorated. Of all the things that strike me, there is none that holds my heart, yet all of them together disturb my feelings, so that I forget what I am and who I belong to.

Modernity was a profoundly disorienting social phenomenon permeating virtually all aspects of intellectual pursuit, music, art, literature, ideology, science and quotidian life. Throughout the nineteenth century, Western culture saw a radical move towards urbanisation, technological innovation and new patterns of social interaction. The emerging industrial economic model shifted the employment base from rural primary production to urban factory and clerical work.

With the mass movement of workers into expanding metropolitan centres, traditional agrarian patterns of cultural organisation were rapidly superseded. New social structures arose in urban areas in which anonymity and the crowd played a central role. Modernity also saw the growth of consumerism, the fetishisation of surface glamour and the promotion of cosmopolitan sophistication.

Modes of transportation such as the railway and the automobile meant that modern life was lived at a far greater pace, with spatiotemporal perception being radically and irrevocably reconfigured.

These international demographic, experiential and psychosocial changes were synergistically connected to a new epistemological order. The Enlightenment principle of deductive empiricism was forcefully challenged and subverted, and was largely replaced by a pervasive sense of uncertainty. The new epistemology of modernity is reflected in a number of disparate discourses. Evolution of Man and On the Origin of Species proposed conflict as a central factor in the natural world whilst giving rise to a new metaphor the city as a jungle with which to understand the perils of modern life.

As developed by Ferdinand de Saussure , structural linguistics was also significant for highlighting the inherent arbitrariness of language. An anarchic sensibility became a formal principle in the arts and philosophy alike. Musical composers such as Stravinsky subverted classical musical structuration, instead experimenting with a freer treatment in which dissonance, arrhythmic patterning and non-functional harmonic principles gained prominence.

The stream of consciousness technique developed by modernist writers James Joyce and Virginia Woolf repudiated rectilinear time, instead instituting a new, impressionistic temporal order. German expressionism, cubism, surrealism and the Brechtian concept of estrangement der Verfremdungseffekt all similarly sought to articulate the sense of unease and alienation fostered by the new world order.

Of particular significance was the invention of photography, with its irrefutably indexical status, in The impressionism of French composers Debussy and Ravel was based on nonfunctional harmonic principles, whilst Stravinsky's early works including Petrushka, revolutionised concepts of rhythm and orchestration.

In England and Wales, the population increased from under seven million in to eighteen million a century later. A similar growth occurred in America, with a national population of four million in and over forty million by the s Cadbury It was the expansion of city centres, however, which had far-reaching implications.

London was, by the s, vastly overcrowded with a population of ,, a state of affairs contributing to unrest, poverty and crime, and generating much media consternation Haggard In Europe, the most rapid urbanisation occurred in Germany where, between and , the number of cities with populations over , increased from fourteen to forty-eight. America saw a similar influx of people into cities.

In , the United States of America was officially declared an urban nation Israel , and in there were twenty-seven American cities with more than a million inhabitants. The advent of the use of concrete and steel facilitated the construction of skyscrapers, transforming the built environment into a dazzling, futuristic vista.

After a devastating fire razed the centre of Chicago a city which at the time epitomised modernity ,56 a new architectural landscape was constructed at a furious pace.

The growth of the metropolis proved fascinating for numerous philosophers and writers. For Benjamin, the city was a prerequisite for modernity. Similarly, New York was appraised for its sheer scope, with le Corbusier comparing it to the tower of Babel: Experientially, the chaotic nature of the city—with its crowds, constant spectacle and rapid tempo—engendered both panic and delight.

The modern subject was obliged to adapt to a vastly reconfigured realm in which shock, anonymity, kinetic thrill and fragmentation were central principles. In the political sphere, Marx and Engels mobilised the discontent arising in response to urbanisation, industrialisation and the growth of capitalism.

Fragmentation was also a necessary principle, for Marx, of repetitive and non-cathetic modern activity—such as that of the assembly line—in which the worker is divorced from the product of their labour. The drive towards fragmentation described by Marx also informed new experiences of temporality, in which history was effaced and the moment was accorded primacy.

For Marinetti, this temporality of instantaneity was inextricably linked to another tenet of modernity, that of the reification of speed. This arterialisation created long, broad corridors that would ultimately enable the transport of troops and artillery against barricades and popular insurrections Berman For further discussion on the Haussmannisation of Paris, see Nash ; Clark Time and Space died yesterday.

We already live in the absolute, because we have created eternal, omnipresent speed Marinetti , p. The future was uncertain. Objects were divested of their traditional significance, and all became ultimately reproducible, as evidenced in the growth of advertising, fashion and tourism.

They felt it their calling and their duty to overthrow traditional structures in order to embrace the modern world. For further discussion on tableaux vivants, see Chapman The grands magasins of European metropolitan centres showcased commodities in capacious windows that remained aglow well into the night.

In fact, by the s, the Parisian media abounded with descriptions of the city in which the theme of visual instability dominated.

At the same time, much promise of excitement was embodied in the fabulous metropolis, and in many discourses, both quotidian and intellectual, the city was celebrated, becoming iconographically and metonymically symbolic of modernity itself. All of these revolutionary changes demanded a new subject, and the development of psychoanalysis was crucial to the formulation of a modern conception 61 In April , PT Barnum joined WC Coup and Dan Castello to create a three-acre circus in Brooklyn.

Eventually more than one ring was added circuses could boast up to three , so that distraction became a key ingredient of the entertainment experience Charney Ultimately the term was politicised and deployed pejoratively by Marx. Insanity, considered in a pre-modern age to be bestowed upon select individuals by God, was suddenly medicalised, with many psychiatrists linking it to social factors.

As insanity could apparently strike anyone, there was a terrifying sense of fortuity associated with it. Moreover, this modern self was one in which irrational and destructive forces usually prevailed. That Bergson argued for different yet coexisting modes of temporality was a radical break from a theocentric view of the world, and was deemed sacrilegious by some. For more genealogical information, see Berman ; Calinescu ; Watson and Appendix 2 of this thesis. His weekly lectures in Paris thereafter attracted huge audiences.

By , Freud was espousing a direct correlation between memory and consciousness, again refuting traditional perceptions of time and history. As noted by cultural historian Buci-Glucksmann, a Benjaminian concept of time is essentially dialectical and non-isochronal Buci-Glucksmann Temporal units, moreover, were seen as variegated, inconsistent and idiosyncratic. Such radical propositions constituted a total rejection of a Renaissance rectilinear temporality, where events are systematically lodged on an imaginary continuum.

These features of the modern world were complemented by a new scopic regime that differed vastly from anything that came before. Throughout the nineteenth century and beyond, visual instability and mutability reigned. See for instance Benjamin a. Other modernist literature and art forms celebrated new modes of vision, many of which were panoptic and thus allowed the reader or viewer to consume the entire vista from a position of apparent omnipotence.

These forms of popular entertainment demanded new modes of spectatorship, often with multiple points of view. As such, they highlighted the apparent malleability of vision. At the same time, verisimilitude was celebrated with unprecedented fervour, with the popularisation of a number of leisure activities based upon gruesomely realistic spectacle.

Ostensibly motivated by civic duty to assist in identifying the anonymous deceased , this recreational activity demonstrates the voracious public appetite for the grisly and abject. The obsession with spectacle and the fetishisation of commodity objects was at all times counterpoised by an anxiety over the mutability of visual signifiers.

With the dispensation of the tabula rasa model, vision became fraught with potential problems, and this perilous state of affairs was reflected in a number of discourses. Industrialisation and the growth of capitalism were other factors leading to the transformation of objects into spectacles, thus calling for a new gaze. For Debord, this was connected to wider cosmological concerns.

In an era in which the notion of a totalising reality was being eroded, spectacle had a restorative role in redeeming the material world that threatened to disappear.

Certainly, the scopophilia of modernity had huge ramifications for the construction of a new, modern subject. No longer able to participate in an unproblematic visual and epistemological field, this subject became an alienated and solipsistic individual whose very subjectivity inflected or fashioned the reality he or she perceived. Not only was vision essentially impressionistic, but also the world it recorded was multifarious and often incomprehensible.

This fetishisation of vision was complemented by a desire for a mobile gaze. Instead, the modern gaze, which is now understood to be specifically pre-cinematic, both cherished and demanded 68 Crary speaks of the reconfiguration of visual representation from around onwards which created a new type of spectator—or what he describes as a modern observer Crary Throughout the nineteenth century, the new woman of modernity became reconceptualised as both prostitute and commodity, as will be discussed in Chapter Six.

All of these modern discourses and developments share a unifying feature: This state of affairs gave rise to uncertainty, disillusionment and disenfranchisement.

Crowds Baudelaire c, p. Ferguson situates his emergence in the early years of the nineteenth century, which is approximately forty years earlier than other theorists have proposed Ferguson ; a; b.

In these literary works, the figure of the urban wanderer and observer was articulated and consolidated. It requires ignorance—nothing more. But to lose oneself in a city— as one loses oneself in a forest—that calls for quite a different schooling. Then, signboards and streets names, passers-by, roofs, kiosks, or bars must speak to the wanderer like a cracking twig under his feet in the forest, like the startling call of a bittern in the distance, like the sudden stillness of a clearing with a lily standing erect at its center.

Paris taught me this art of straying … Walter Benjamin Benjamin , pp. As my thesis is undertaking an examination of the noir hero in relation to manifestations of modernity, it is both expedient and logical to retain the original gender specification. Moreover, his perambulation allows urban life to be experienced as a game of chance. For this reason, his enterprise is essentially lexicographic, as he seeks to order and thus understand his vastly reconfigured environment.

The world he inhabits is gothic, baroque, fragmented and infused with menace. As such, it is in keeping with the modern world it seeks to record and understand. Suffering the alienation of the oppressive metropolis, he nonetheless delights in the perambulation solitary yet connected afforded by his anonymity. The noir hero similarly retreats, but to the office rather than the home hearth, the latter having become a thoroughly disenchanted space.

As discussed by Berman, modernity saw a shift of previously cloistered activities into the urban sphere. As will be demonstrated more fully in Chapter Six, this sense of promise can be connected historically to the emergence of the new woman and modern prostitute, both of whom defiantly inhabited the public sphere and dared to return the gaze of their male admirers.

Their rule is always tantamount to a barbarian phase. Gustave le Bon, cited in Kolocotroni et al , pp. On an unspecified day in the late s in Saint Raphael on the French Riviera, Maupassant happened to be walking past a church at which he fortuitously caught sight of some newlyweds.

Out of interest, he strained to see the spectacle, when suddenly, a terrible feeling overcame him: Most philosophers of modernity perceived the centrality of the crowd and its profusion of strangers. As outlined above, modernity was an epoch of unremitting urbanisation. Anonymity thus became a defining feature of quotidian life: The stranger was also a preoccupation for Baudelaire, as evidenced in the eponymous poem excerpted below: Tell me, enigmatical man, whom do you love best, your father, your mother, your sister or your brother?

I have neither father, nor mother, nor sister, nor brother. Now you use a word whose meaning I have never known. I do not know in what latitude it lies … Then, what do you love, extraordinary stranger? I love the clouds … the clouds that pass … up there … up there … the wonderful clouds! The Stranger Baudelaire g, p. Defying classification, the inscrutable urban stranger arouses repulsion. Because of this, the crowd was for an anxiety-provoking and abject phenomenon.

With its ability to render the familiar strange, the crowd could also evoke a sense of the uncanny, as noted by Freud of an visit to Paris: The populous nature of a large city like Paris, believed Freud, led to deindividuation but also created a sense of isolation for he who regarded it. In times of terror … everybody will be in a situation where he has to play detective.

He only seems to be indolent, for behind this indolence there is the watchfulness of an observer who does not take his eyes off a miscreant Benjamin e, pp.

These include a passion for roaming through the metropolis, an inquisitive and ever-watchful eye, a desire to observe and record the passing crowd, and an air of detachment dialecticised with a longing to encounter the desirable woman. Neff for instance traverses the urban and suburban terrain with consummate ease. He resists the urge to join the throngs and instead stands alone. The noir voiceover, furthermore, is a narrative stratagem allowing his adventures to be related subjectively.

Like other noir heroes, Neff is above all an observer. Similarly, the noir hero cultivates an air of detachment and retreats to the office to record his findings. Her house, the town, the language were unfamiliar to me. Nobody was expecting me, no one knew me. For two hours I walked the streets in solitude.

Never again have I seen them so. In an increasingly secularised world, everyday life had become degraded. In this, Benjamin was an iconoclast whose intellectual project was at once heuristic, idiosyncratic and revolutionary. Whilst born into an affluent milieu in the year in which modernist writers Flaubert and Dostoevsky were also born , Baudelaire abandoned this privilege in favour of Parisian bohemianism. He died penniless in an asylum at the age of forty-six Benjamin c. Spending extravagantly, he rapidly dissipated his inheritance.

Jahrhunderts Paris, the Capital of the Nineteenth Century. Benjamin worked sporadically on the project to which he referred as Passagenarbeit or simply Passagen , stalling at one point for several years.

In , Benjamin wrote to his friend Scholem, discussing the obstacles the work faced and intimating that cohesiveness was perhaps unachievable.

Retrieved August 26, from http: During his lifetime, and particularly following the moral outrage generated by the publication of Les Fleurs du Mal in , his name was considered synonymous with depravity and vice. His writings provide an impressionistic account of modernity, reflecting his own experiences. Despite his poverty and difficulties, Baudelaire consistently celebrated the experience of living in a large, anonymous city: Born in , Georg Simmel was a philosopher of modernity who, like Baudelaire and Benjamin, wrote on diverse themes such as love, fashion, money and other ephemera of modern life.

This focus led to a seemingly unsustainable paradigm in which the present was wrest from its larger historical context Frisby Simmel was prolific, producing over twenty books and two hundred articles Levine His career was spent as a Privatdozent a nonstipendary lecturer at Berlin University, although due to his unconventionality and perceived radicalism, combined with the prevailing anti-Semitism of the time, Simmel only attained a regular university post the Chair of Philosophy in the last four years of his life, and only at a marginal institution The University of Strasbourg.

Never averse to critiquing the existing hegemonic paradigms of intellectual thought, Simmel was frequently ostracised and alienated from his more orthodox academic colleagues.

There are many other instances of nineteenth century painters, writers, poets and philosophers describing their marginalisation, or else alluding to the unbearable ennui created by urban life. Artist Edvard Munch whose The Scream conveys a sense of horror at the anonymity of city life wrote of his own peripheral existence: Other modernists similarly stood alone.

Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder all worked in the s and s and were profoundly influenced by modernity. Born in in rural Polish Galicia, Wilder fled the Nazis, lived in Paris for a year and arrived in America in These factors perhaps enabled Wilder to engage with the hardboiled vernacular in an even more distanced and removed manner, resulting in an exaggerated style.

Wilder also developed a number of idiosyncratic and flamboyant preferences, such as drinking nothing but red wine for two years Zolotow Like many hardboiled writers, Raymond Chandler was a complex and seemingly troubled character who struggled with alcoholism for most of his adult life. After working for several years as an executive in the oil industry, Chandler embarked upon a writing career and penned his first novel, The Big Sleep , at the age of fifty-one.

This was in the great days of the Black Mask if I may call them great days and it struck me that some of the writing was pretty forceful and honest, even though it had its crude aspect. I decided that this might be a good way to try to learn to write fiction and get paid a small amount of money at the same time.

His success in capturing the flavour of Californian life, then, could partly be attributed to his status as exile. With his disputatious and intractable temperament, Chandler alienated many of his peers. Although he praised Hammett, he was consistently contemptuous of other hardboiled writers. Chandler was also very bitter towards Hollywood. His personal correspondence and published work is suffused with cynicism and acerbity, attributes which find their 87 The animosity between the two men has been amply documented.

Frequently in debt, Dashiell Hammett was renowned for his gambling, heavy drinking and fondness for prostitutes. Other pulp authors had previously enjoyed similarly modern occupations. Aided by two crutches, his left leg dragging and impeding his progress, an unidentifiable man moves awkwardly but resolutely towards the camera. Dressed in a suit and hat, the figure is rendered as a silhouette and surrounded by a circle of light. The camera remains static whilst the sinister stranger looms ever larger as he inexorably approaches.

The visual heritage is clear: As the narrative develops, the viewer retrospectively attributes to the figure the identity of Walter Neff. Yet it is curious that Wilder would select this particular image to open the film. In time, the spectator discovers that Neff is actually injured mortally as it finally transpires , but from a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Martin Scorsese once remarked that it was impossible to think of film noir without bringing to mind the nocturnal image of a man running through the streets cited in Schon The noir hero frequently navigates his way through the urban landscape with a leisurely tempo, allowing him to observe and investigate.

Conversely, at certain moments, film noir conveys a sense of stasis, entrapment and isolation within the metropolis, in keeping with themes depicted in many other modernist art forms. Although it is generally acknowledged that the noir hero is an urban creature, his trajectory through the city is one aspect of his characterisation that has not been adequately theorised. And yet even a cursory overview of the noir canon reveals protagonists who are rarely sedentary.

Ultimately, Jeff cannot resist the lure of Kathie, criminality and a life that is dynamic, precarious and marked by constant movement and change. As a maritime worker, he takes on a variety of jobs and leads a nomadic and largely autonomous existence.

His wanderings are aimless, and his trajectory is vastly altered as a result of a fortuitous meeting with femme fatale Elsa one evening in Central Park. Most hardboiled heroes exhibit a similar degree of autonomy and freedom in both their personal and professional lives. Indeed, Sherwood articulates the disparity between his own invalidism and the physical capacity of hardboiled Philip Marlowe during the first meeting between the two men.

Young, virile and unencumbered, Marlowe is the antithesis of the older man who represents a more traditional order. Mr Bannister in The Lady from Shanghai is crippled and walks with the aid of two walking sticks, with his limited movements being paroxysmal and spasmodic, implying pain. The implication in both cases is one of sexual inadequacy. Within the diegesis, Dietrichson is only shown in ways that highlight the restrictiveness of his existence.

Unlike Neff, Dietrichson is bound by both industry and family to a position that dramatically restricts his movements and contributes to his apparent bitterness and dissatisfaction with life.

That Dietrichson breaks his leg is partly attributable to the exigencies of narration. Such a physical disability proves both emasculating and deadly. As a longstanding bachelor, Keyes is more at liberty than Dietrichson to wander the city.

Is that all you can see in it? Just a hard chair to park your pants on from nine to five, huh? All you want to work with is your finger on a doorbell. Neither totally inert nor compelled to run to escape his fate, Neff moves with a particular tempo. Defined by their cosmopolitan nature and extremely adept at traversing their respective urban terrains, they are at home within the city, familiar with its topography and relevant sites.

This is not unlike the character of Waldo Lydecker in Laura, who has access to all the right addresses. Their lifestyle is contingent upon occupying the urban wilderness, which they deploy in order to lose themselves, to mitigate their overwhelming desire for the new woman and to dispel the ennui resulting from modern life. The city is also used by both to obliterate their traces, evade detection and thus retain their autonomy.

As Creed has noted, automobilism, cinema and psychoanalysis emerged at the same historical moment, around Automotive transport allowed great distances to be conquered at high speed, whilst psychoanalysis enabled its subject to cognitively travel backwards into the recesses of memory and personal history. The formal properties of cinema, similarly, could radically manipulate time and space Creed This response was ambivalent: The hysterical extravagance of the movies is … illustrated in the breathless speed which so often characterises every moving thing on screen.

We feel that, at the end of the road, horses must expire from exhaustion and automobiles must catch fire from excessive friction … It is true that some of this breathlessness carries with it a certain thrill for the spectator, but that thrill is by no means to be classed as an aesthetic emotion. It has nothing of that abiding joy which comes from the consciousness of restrained energy in art Freeburg , pp.

The spectator of the phantom-ride film could be swept along, not only by the temporality intrinsic to the cinematic experience itself, but also within a dynamic diegesis created by a mobile camera. Various studies have considered the synergy between modernity, cinema and mechanised transportation such as car and train travel. Given the urban, modern nature of the hardboiled hero, it is hardly surprising that tropes of transportation prove to be so central in the noir canon.

A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath—a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. Marinetti, Manifesto of Futurism Marinetti , p. Cars, cars, fast, fast! One is seized, filled with enthusiasm, with joy … the joy of power.

One participates in it … One believes in it. The automobile arrived in , and the early years of the twentieth century saw a huge growth in vehicular travel. America was a world leader in the ascendance of the cult of automobilism. The emergence of automobilism and other modes of mechanised transportation was a profound historical development generating both acclamation and anxiety.

A number of discourses reflected an abiding fear of motorised speed and the disequilibrium it could engender. On a wider cultural level, locomotion was generally seen in positive terms, particularly since it emblematised much of what was celebrated in modernity. It allowed the modern subject to revel in kinetic thrill, to 91 Compared for instance to one car for every forty-four people in Great Britain in the same year Ling Cars were also a convenient narrative device in gangster films because they facilitated a quick getaway Appel It was within a postWWII climate, proposes Lyons, that the automobile became more emphatically associated with the masses, thus gaining new cinematic currency Lyons The ubiquity of automobilism in the noir canon has been noted.

The opening sequences of many classic films noirs involve city streets, vehicles or associated motifs. Vehicular travel—or the highway as metaphor—is also a common trope in neo-noir. The credit sequence of The Killers also positions the camera inside the vehicle, silhouetting the two men who are seated in the front.

In both The Killers and Out of the Past, the arrival of the car signals impending danger and doom. The dangerous veering of the vehicle immediately connects motoring to a sense of lawlessness and desperation. In addition to these connections, I would suggest that the vehicle is central to the logic of Double Indemnity in several crucial ways.

At times of personal confusion and crisis, Neff escapes through use of the car, and is able to direct his movements with relative ease. The vehicle also allows Neff to take Lola out of the city and into the countryside, thus placating her and winning her affections. Cars are also significant for Lola because they move her away from the unhappiness of her family home. The corner of Vermont and Franklin Streets, her designated meeting spot with lover Nino Zacchetti, offers a metropolitan array of traffic, pedestrians and neon lights in contradistinction to the stifling and staid atmosphere of her bourgeois abode.

A car engine failing to start is a typical suspensecreating strategy. Double Indemnity is also laden with terminology associated with transport and locomotion. Once she is accustomed to its resonance, Phyllis adopts the phrase with fervour, repeating it on several occasions in order to pacify Neff and ensure his continued compliance.

There are also several socio-historical points of convergence between automobilism, modernity and films noirs such as Double Indemnity. The advent of the motor vehicle was in fact part of the greater social revolution of gender relationships in which erotic liaisons were enacted in public or quasi-public spaces. Middle-class suitors had formerly called upon young women in the parlours of their family homes, but the automobile transformed dating rituals, providing an escape from parental supervision.

During their first meeting, a playful banter ensues in which their desire is barely sublimated. This section of dialogue is highly relevant and warrants a full quotation: I think I like that.

Forty-five miles an hour. How fast was I going, officer? Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket. Suppose I let you off with a warning this time. Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles. Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulders. For both, an association with mobility is one that suggests transgression and a disregard for law and order.

To me, a claims man is a surgeon, and that desk is an operating table, and those pencils are scalpels and bone chisel. And those papers are not just forms and statistics and claims for compensation. A claims man, Walter, is a doctor and a bloodhound and a cop and a judge and a jury and a father confessor, all in one. Neff, however, appears not the slightest bit tempted. It sets him apart from both Keyes and Dietrichson, and seems to be one of the main reasons why he resists the temptations of administrative or managerial posts that would confer higher social status, privilege and power.

As demonstrated in Chapter Two, existing critical writings on Double Indemnity typically interpret the relationship between Keyes and Neff by employing an oedipal framework. Keyes is a character who exhibits a vestigial romantic sensibility, as evidenced by his somewhat anachronistic waistcoats, his punctilious nature and his pedantic reliance upon actuarial tables.

solely

It is the real son of the government. At the same time, these changes have vastly complicated the compliance challenges for UnionPay. While the card system is helping monetary authorities open up the capital account, it is also enabling people to funnel their ill-gotten gains out of China, said Yan.

Macau is a prime gateway for this activity. It is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, and so Chinese gamblers bring vast sums of money here. Because Macau is administered separately from the mainland, there are restrictions on how much currency mainland Chinese can take into the gambling haven. But gamblers find ways of skirting currency controls when they cross into Macau.

And much of the money these mainlanders ostensibly take to Macau for gambling, Chinese authorities believe, is actually going abroad into bank Multiway Casino Dealer Memes De Amor.

Macau is now the world's biggest gambling hub, with revenues seven times those of Las Vegas. Nearly 40 percent of that went to the government in taxes. Beijing is particularly concerned about the role of this capital flight in the country's endemic government corruption scandals. An internal research report in by the PBOC identified UnionPay cards as one of the main tools for corrupt individuals to facilitate cross-border transfer of funds. The central bank report said the practice was growing rapidly.

Many card users follow their money abroad. The ubiquitous UnionPay card, with its instant access to piles of cash, has made the task of whisking money out of China far easier for ordinary Chinese. Around 90 percent of those transactions were "highly concentrated in jewellery, ornament and luxury watch sales", the report said.

Where does this money come from? All the counter-parties involved benefit from these cashback transactions, an industry source said. The retail merchant makes money on the exchange rate, the way a currency trader would. The Macau banks overseeing the merchant charge 1 percent to 2 percent on the transaction. And the UnionPay card-issuing bank back in China will generally charge around 1 percent on the transaction, the source said. The cashback activity is spreading beyond Macau to other Chinese tourist destinations, including Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, people in the credit-card industry say.

Taiwan authorities said in January, given the abnormal UnionPay transactions they found, they would consider setting up a cross-straits mechanism to ensure timely information exchange and prevent illegal money laundering, according to CNA, its semi-official news agency.

Taiwan's cabinet is considering the proposal. China isn't standing still. A decade ago, the government began trying to rein in money laundering, and since then it has amended criminal laws and strengthened commercial banking rules. UnionPay officials say they are trying to stamp out the illicit transfers. That limit applies to actual sale transactions. UnionPay's rivals, meanwhile, don't appear to be playing the cashback game.

Macau jewellery stores visited for this article said Visa and Mastercard were not generally used for cashback transactions. A senior executive with a rival card brand said his company had "zero tolerance" for the kind of cashbacks allowed by UnionPay. Both as a bank and a card network, we're supposed to close it down immediately. In a written response to questions for this article, UnionPay said it "has always strictly prohibited the swiping of cards for cash without any goods being purchased and has collaborated from many sides to boost the investigation of such risks.

According to UnionPay's "Operating Regulations," overseas banks participating in the UnionPay system are required to close the accounts of merchants found to be engaged in fraudulent transactions. But local authorities such as the Macau Monetary Authority have the primary responsibility for investigating suspicious cross-border transactions, the company says. The Macau Monetary Authority said in a written response that bank card-related businesses in Macau have "been subject to very stringent ongoing supervision.

The authority noted it has "come across a couple of cases of supervisory concerns, and legal proceedings were taken against the parties concerned, including merchants.

Deborah Ng, head of Macau's Financial Intelligence Office, said UnionPay has tried to take a more active role recently to "take care of whether there are some irregular activities involved. But the card company can do more, she said in an interview. During his lifetime, and particularly following the moral outrage generated by the publication of Les Fleurs du Mal in , his name was considered synonymous with depravity and vice.

His writings provide an impressionistic account of modernity, reflecting his own experiences. Despite his poverty and difficulties, Baudelaire consistently celebrated the experience of living in a large, anonymous city: Born in , Georg Simmel was a philosopher of modernity who, like Baudelaire and Benjamin, wrote on diverse themes such as love, fashion, money and other ephemera of modern life.

This focus led to a seemingly unsustainable paradigm in which the present was wrest from its larger historical context Frisby Simmel was prolific, producing over twenty books and two hundred articles Levine His career was spent as a Privatdozent a nonstipendary lecturer at Berlin University, although due to his unconventionality and perceived radicalism, combined with the prevailing anti-Semitism of the time, Simmel only attained a regular university post the Chair of Philosophy in the last four years of his life, and only at a marginal institution The University of Strasbourg.

Never averse to critiquing the existing hegemonic paradigms of intellectual thought, Simmel was frequently ostracised and alienated from his more orthodox academic colleagues.

There are many other instances of nineteenth century painters, writers, poets and philosophers describing their marginalisation, or else alluding to the unbearable ennui created by urban life. Artist Edvard Munch whose The Scream conveys a sense of horror at the anonymity of city life wrote of his own peripheral existence: Other modernists similarly stood alone.

Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder all worked in the s and s and were profoundly influenced by modernity. Born in in rural Polish Galicia, Wilder fled the Nazis, lived in Paris for a year and arrived in America in These factors perhaps enabled Wilder to engage with the hardboiled vernacular in an even more distanced and removed manner, resulting in an exaggerated style. Wilder also developed a number of idiosyncratic and flamboyant preferences, such as drinking nothing but red wine for two years Zolotow Like many hardboiled writers, Raymond Chandler was a complex and seemingly troubled character who struggled with alcoholism for most of his adult life.

After working for several years as an executive in the oil industry, Chandler embarked upon a writing career and penned his first novel, The Big Sleep , at the age of fifty-one. This was in the great days of the Black Mask if I may call them great days and it struck me that some of the writing was pretty forceful and honest, even though it had its crude aspect.

I decided that this might be a good way to try to learn to write fiction and get paid a small amount of money at the same time. His success in capturing the flavour of Californian life, then, could partly be attributed to his status as exile. With his disputatious and intractable temperament, Chandler alienated many of his peers. Although he praised Hammett, he was consistently contemptuous of other hardboiled writers.

Chandler was also very bitter towards Hollywood. His personal correspondence and published work is suffused with cynicism and acerbity, attributes which find their 87 The animosity between the two men has been amply documented. Frequently in debt, Dashiell Hammett was renowned for his gambling, heavy drinking and fondness for prostitutes.

Other pulp authors had previously enjoyed similarly modern occupations. Aided by two crutches, his left leg dragging and impeding his progress, an unidentifiable man moves awkwardly but resolutely towards the camera. Dressed in a suit and hat, the figure is rendered as a silhouette and surrounded by a circle of light. The camera remains static whilst the sinister stranger looms ever larger as he inexorably approaches.

The visual heritage is clear: As the narrative develops, the viewer retrospectively attributes to the figure the identity of Walter Neff. Yet it is curious that Wilder would select this particular image to open the film. In time, the spectator discovers that Neff is actually injured mortally as it finally transpires , but from a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

Martin Scorsese once remarked that it was impossible to think of film noir without bringing to mind the nocturnal image of a man running through the streets cited in Schon The noir hero frequently navigates his way through the urban landscape with a leisurely tempo, allowing him to observe and investigate.

Conversely, at certain moments, film noir conveys a sense of stasis, entrapment and isolation within the metropolis, in keeping with themes depicted in many other modernist art forms. Although it is generally acknowledged that the noir hero is an urban creature, his trajectory through the city is one aspect of his characterisation that has not been adequately theorised. And yet even a cursory overview of the noir canon reveals protagonists who are rarely sedentary. Ultimately, Jeff cannot resist the lure of Kathie, criminality and a life that is dynamic, precarious and marked by constant movement and change.

As a maritime worker, he takes on a variety of jobs and leads a nomadic and largely autonomous existence. His wanderings are aimless, and his trajectory is vastly altered as a result of a fortuitous meeting with femme fatale Elsa one evening in Central Park.

Most hardboiled heroes exhibit a similar degree of autonomy and freedom in both their personal and professional lives. Indeed, Sherwood articulates the disparity between his own invalidism and the physical capacity of hardboiled Philip Marlowe during the first meeting between the two men. Young, virile and unencumbered, Marlowe is the antithesis of the older man who represents a more traditional order. Mr Bannister in The Lady from Shanghai is crippled and walks with the aid of two walking sticks, with his limited movements being paroxysmal and spasmodic, implying pain.

The implication in both cases is one of sexual inadequacy. Within the diegesis, Dietrichson is only shown in ways that highlight the restrictiveness of his existence.

Unlike Neff, Dietrichson is bound by both industry and family to a position that dramatically restricts his movements and contributes to his apparent bitterness and dissatisfaction with life.

That Dietrichson breaks his leg is partly attributable to the exigencies of narration. Such a physical disability proves both emasculating and deadly. As a longstanding bachelor, Keyes is more at liberty than Dietrichson to wander the city. Is that all you can see in it? Just a hard chair to park your pants on from nine to five, huh? All you want to work with is your finger on a doorbell. Neither totally inert nor compelled to run to escape his fate, Neff moves with a particular tempo.

Defined by their cosmopolitan nature and extremely adept at traversing their respective urban terrains, they are at home within the city, familiar with its topography and relevant sites.

This is not unlike the character of Waldo Lydecker in Laura, who has access to all the right addresses. Their lifestyle is contingent upon occupying the urban wilderness, which they deploy in order to lose themselves, to mitigate their overwhelming desire for the new woman and to dispel the ennui resulting from modern life. The city is also used by both to obliterate their traces, evade detection and thus retain their autonomy. As Creed has noted, automobilism, cinema and psychoanalysis emerged at the same historical moment, around Automotive transport allowed great distances to be conquered at high speed, whilst psychoanalysis enabled its subject to cognitively travel backwards into the recesses of memory and personal history.

The formal properties of cinema, similarly, could radically manipulate time and space Creed This response was ambivalent: The hysterical extravagance of the movies is … illustrated in the breathless speed which so often characterises every moving thing on screen.

We feel that, at the end of the road, horses must expire from exhaustion and automobiles must catch fire from excessive friction … It is true that some of this breathlessness carries with it a certain thrill for the spectator, but that thrill is by no means to be classed as an aesthetic emotion. It has nothing of that abiding joy which comes from the consciousness of restrained energy in art Freeburg , pp.

The spectator of the phantom-ride film could be swept along, not only by the temporality intrinsic to the cinematic experience itself, but also within a dynamic diegesis created by a mobile camera. Various studies have considered the synergy between modernity, cinema and mechanised transportation such as car and train travel. Given the urban, modern nature of the hardboiled hero, it is hardly surprising that tropes of transportation prove to be so central in the noir canon.

A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath—a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. Marinetti, Manifesto of Futurism Marinetti , p. Cars, cars, fast, fast! One is seized, filled with enthusiasm, with joy … the joy of power.

One participates in it … One believes in it. The automobile arrived in , and the early years of the twentieth century saw a huge growth in vehicular travel. America was a world leader in the ascendance of the cult of automobilism. The emergence of automobilism and other modes of mechanised transportation was a profound historical development generating both acclamation and anxiety. A number of discourses reflected an abiding fear of motorised speed and the disequilibrium it could engender.

On a wider cultural level, locomotion was generally seen in positive terms, particularly since it emblematised much of what was celebrated in modernity. It allowed the modern subject to revel in kinetic thrill, to 91 Compared for instance to one car for every forty-four people in Great Britain in the same year Ling Cars were also a convenient narrative device in gangster films because they facilitated a quick getaway Appel It was within a postWWII climate, proposes Lyons, that the automobile became more emphatically associated with the masses, thus gaining new cinematic currency Lyons The ubiquity of automobilism in the noir canon has been noted.

The opening sequences of many classic films noirs involve city streets, vehicles or associated motifs. Vehicular travel—or the highway as metaphor—is also a common trope in neo-noir.

The credit sequence of The Killers also positions the camera inside the vehicle, silhouetting the two men who are seated in the front.

In both The Killers and Out of the Past, the arrival of the car signals impending danger and doom. The dangerous veering of the vehicle immediately connects motoring to a sense of lawlessness and desperation. In addition to these connections, I would suggest that the vehicle is central to the logic of Double Indemnity in several crucial ways. At times of personal confusion and crisis, Neff escapes through use of the car, and is able to direct his movements with relative ease.

The vehicle also allows Neff to take Lola out of the city and into the countryside, thus placating her and winning her affections. Cars are also significant for Lola because they move her away from the unhappiness of her family home. The corner of Vermont and Franklin Streets, her designated meeting spot with lover Nino Zacchetti, offers a metropolitan array of traffic, pedestrians and neon lights in contradistinction to the stifling and staid atmosphere of her bourgeois abode.

A car engine failing to start is a typical suspensecreating strategy. Double Indemnity is also laden with terminology associated with transport and locomotion. Once she is accustomed to its resonance, Phyllis adopts the phrase with fervour, repeating it on several occasions in order to pacify Neff and ensure his continued compliance. There are also several socio-historical points of convergence between automobilism, modernity and films noirs such as Double Indemnity.

The advent of the motor vehicle was in fact part of the greater social revolution of gender relationships in which erotic liaisons were enacted in public or quasi-public spaces.

Middle-class suitors had formerly called upon young women in the parlours of their family homes, but the automobile transformed dating rituals, providing an escape from parental supervision. During their first meeting, a playful banter ensues in which their desire is barely sublimated. This section of dialogue is highly relevant and warrants a full quotation: I think I like that.

Forty-five miles an hour. How fast was I going, officer? Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket. Suppose I let you off with a warning this time. Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles. Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulders.

For both, an association with mobility is one that suggests transgression and a disregard for law and order. To me, a claims man is a surgeon, and that desk is an operating table, and those pencils are scalpels and bone chisel.

And those papers are not just forms and statistics and claims for compensation. A claims man, Walter, is a doctor and a bloodhound and a cop and a judge and a jury and a father confessor, all in one. Neff, however, appears not the slightest bit tempted.

It sets him apart from both Keyes and Dietrichson, and seems to be one of the main reasons why he resists the temptations of administrative or managerial posts that would confer higher social status, privilege and power. As demonstrated in Chapter Two, existing critical writings on Double Indemnity typically interpret the relationship between Keyes and Neff by employing an oedipal framework.

Keyes is a character who exhibits a vestigial romantic sensibility, as evidenced by his somewhat anachronistic waistcoats, his punctilious nature and his pedantic reliance upon actuarial tables. Neff, on the other hand, is comparatively free to roam as he pleases. Kracauer discusses the diversionary qualities of travel and 94 In this category Baudelaire includes the roles of minister, theatre manager and newspaper editor.

The importance of travel, stresses Kracauer, is not so much the destination as the escape it offers. It is primarily a movement away rather than towards, and as such its significance is reduced to the very act of movement itself Kracauer d. This spatio-temporal double life could hardly be craved with such intensity, were it not the distortion of real life Kracauer d, p. Travel, then, is conceived as an antidote to the more mundane and sedentary aspects of quotidian life.

It is also a means by which perceptual processes can be altered and distorted. In observing the synergy between the cinema and vehicular travel, Hey highlights the auratic possibilities of both experiences: Both the automobile experience and the film experience … involved movement, and both permitted the consumer to select desirable settings or themes, offering an ecstatic experience potentially devoid of depressing connections to reality Hey , p.

Unlike the patron of public transport who must relinquish control and succumb to a pre-determined route authored by an anonymous bureaucracy, the motorist can easily change course. No one can kick me out of my job. In films such as Double Indemnity, the vehicle is a central means of ensuring this continued independence. A similar gaze is demanded by motorised travel. When driving a vehicle, one must be sufficiently aware of the surroundings, yet the motion of driving is to some extent automatic and thus distraction becomes inevitable.

Whilst these words are delivered in voiceover, and thus are not diegetically embedded, the fact that such a crucial element of the confession is conveyed using an image of Neff driving is significant. It is his office and his vehicle in which Neff feels comfortable and thus best disposed to relate the most intimate aspects of his story. As late as , Los Angeles was still a centralised city, with the streetcars of the Pacific Electric system travelling almost 2, kilometres of track.

The primacy accorded to vehicular travel in American culture has been noted by several commentators. Importantly, however, Neff remains at all times an interloper, and his use of the car allows him to transport himself away at whim. Such sprawl was desirable to the modern subject, although Engels, writing in , suggests a certain uncanniness engendered by the seemingly never-ending nature of the modern city: A town, such as London, where a man may wander for hours together without reaching the beginning of the end, without meeting the slightest hint which could lead to the inference that there is open country within reach, is a strange thing Engels , p.

Accustomed to the dimensions and topography of Paris, she was overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of the American city, which rendered it foreign and ephemeral. The noir metropolis is also seemingly endless, propelling the hero onto greater quests to discover its limits, and to observe the detritus residing on the margins. Walter Neff as modern observer and recorder The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes.

Charles Baudelaire Baudelaire , p. Happy is the man who is an observer! Boredom, for him, is a word devoid of sense. Victor Fournel, cited in Benjamin , p. As Neff narrates these events from within the diegetic space of his office, the image dissolves into an anterior sequence of him driving through a sunny and ostensibly benign suburban scene. Promising to return the following evening to discuss the insurance policies with her husband, Neff departs. The image then cuts to Neff driving.

His disturbing rapture, however, is conveyed in his voiceover during which he mentions the scent of honeysuckle and connects it to murder. These issues will be explored in the following chapters. It was one of those Californian Spanish houses everyone was nuts about ten or fifteen years ago. This one must have cost somebody about 30, bucks—that is, if he ever finished paying for it.

This description accompanies a long-shot, filmed from a high angle, of a neighbourhood with children playing on the street. A high angle cinematic composition had by the s been codified to indicate a sense of omniscience and immutable truth.

The understated irony with which Neff comments upon the scene also subtly sets him apart. The windows were closed and the sunshine coming in through the Venetian blinds showed up the dust in the air. On the piano, in a couple of fancy frames, were Mr Dietrichson and Lola, his daughter by his first wife. They had a bowl of those little red goldfish on the table behind the old davenport … Recognising the house for what it is ostentatious and pretentious yet ultimately lacking in taste , Neff is able to subtly undermine the Dietrichsons and their aspirations towards an upper-class European elegance.

Since it 98 Planned obsolescence and the rapid turnover of trends was a feature of modernity and was lamented by Engels in in relation to the built environment. It is only through fully appreciating the value of such apparent detritus the dust in the air, the goldfish, the photo frames that one may arrive at a greater enlightenment.

Philip Marlowe navigates his way through an upper-middle class sphere inhabited by his considerably wealthier clients whilst remaining separate, all the while recording his impressions and relaying them to the spectator via a wisecracking voiceover. Later in the film, he is seen striking a match on a marble statue of cupid in order to light his cigarette. Within this world of affluence, Marlowe consistently remains the outsider and observer, forever refusing to be defined by a traditional social hierarchy.

A similar interplay is apparent in The Big Sleep, with Philip Marlowe Humphrey Bogart remaining separate from the extravagance and decaying wealth of the Sternwood estate. Upon first being received into the stately mansion by the butler, Marlowe assesses his surroundings with interest, carefully examining the paintings, the capacious foyer, and finally, the attractive and flirtatious Carmen Sternwood who descends the staircase. Given the socio-historical context of burgeoning urbanisation, the popularity of this new literary form is understandable.

Significantly, physiologies arose as a literary genre at the precise historical moment when bureaucracies began to develop strategies to regulate the urban crowd. Both figures share key ontological and experiential similarities, the most significant of which is their isolation from the crowd. This detachment allows them to lexicographically decode their urban surroundings. In this, their lexicographic intent is similar to that of the reader of the physiologies, who seeks to classify and thus understand the stranger through an assessment of minutiae.

Baudelaire was first made aware of Poe in or , after which he became a devoted enthusiast and fan. His adroitness at comporting himself in the face of adversity, furthermore, suggests a familiarity with extracting himself from potentially awkward situations. The way in which Neff handles the initial hostility and subsequent admonitions of the maid, Nellie, is a case in point.

When Neff arrives at the Dietrichson abode, Nellie opens the door and the following exchange takes place: Who wants to see him? The name is Neff.

Such self-effacement means that Neff deflects attention away from himself and thus remains undetected. This mode of communication is also a means by which he can assert his will and achieve his aims. Through his hardboiled approach, Neff gains entry to the house. His ability to remove himself from the interpersonal politics by resorting to wisecracks is one way to maintain his equilibrium. In addition, the strategy of the voiceover positions Neff as both present and absent.

Although Neff appears in the diegesis during these flashback sequences, his voice issues from a site the insurance office defined by its figurative and literal distance from the suburban scene on which he comments. In this sense, Neff is safe. Similarly, Neff has an urgent need to narrate his story, even when his death is imminent. Wilder was also a habitual collector. Above all, both desire and strive for solitariness. The following section will demonstrate the metaphysical importance of the urban landscape in this endeavour.

And only the city can assimilate the cynic, who ostentatiously turns his back on it Sloterdijk , p. As discussed in the previous chapter, the metropolis is both emblematic and metonymic of modernity. The solitary and thoughtful stroller finds a singular intoxication in this universal communion.

The man who loves to lose himself in a crowd enjoys feverish delights that the egoist locked up in himself as in a box, and the slothful man like a mollusk in his shell, will be eternally deprived of. He adopts as his own all the occupations, all the joys and all the sorrows that chance offers Baudelaire c, p.

The urban wanderer, suggests Baudelaire, is blessed with the opportunity to experience an energised life from which his more stationary counterparts are precluded.

These will be discussed further in Chapter Six. It was also imperative in preserving his psychic or metaphysical integrity. A delicate balance between immersion and repulsion was required. In In , Edmond and Jules de Goncourt describe the feelings of estrangement engendered by the modernisation of Paris: Because loitering within a city crowd entailed a metaphysical risk, it was essential that coping mechanisms were developed.

The noir hero is nonetheless extremely adept at deploying the city and its crowd for his own opportunistic purposes. Governed almost exclusively by cynicism and disenchantment, he rejects any notion of communion and derives little pleasure from the human contact experienced during his largely solitary peregrinations. The hardboiled hero both recognises and accepts such disenfranchisement with weary resignation.

At the same time, however, he cannot survive for long outside the city. Jeff is unable to resist its fatal lure, whilst the Swede is murdered by assassins associated with his shady, urban past.

In other films noirs, the hero consistently seeks out the urban terrain in order to loiter. The hardboiled hero at times immerses himself in the crowd, but he also loiters in the near-empty spaces of the city. At no time does Neff merge entirely with the crowd. Indeed, frequently there is no oppressive urban mass swelling around him at all. When Neff visits the Dietrichson home for the second time, Phyllis has rescheduled the appointment for a weekday afternoon.

Intent upon seducing Neff and acquiring information to assist in implementing her murderous plan, Phyllis flirts with her prey whilst cannily questioning him about the specifics of various insurance policies. The image then dissolves to Neff driving, followed by a medium close-up of him seated in his car parked at a drive-in restaurant, drinking a beer. His voiceover explains that he was unwilling to return to the office, but required further distraction.

Every passer-by a culprit? A nocturnal long-shot, filmed from outside, shows his car arriving as the camera tilts up towards the top of a rather imposing and unwelcoming building. The image then dissolves to an interior shot of Neff standing by his window, gazing distractedly outside and smoking a cigarette. I was all twisted up inside, and I was still holding onto that red-hot poker. If anything, the lack of stimuli has only worsened his state of mind.

Conversely, his own abode becomes defamiliarised, undesirable and uncanny: An intoxication comes over the man who walks long and aimlessly through the streets … Our man wants nothing to do with the myriad possibilities offered to sate his appetite.

Like an ascetic animal, he flits through unknown districts—until, utterly exhausted, he stumbles into his room, which receives him coldly and wears a strange air Benjamin , p. Whilst Edward and Jules de Goncourt self-appointed social commentators on late nineteenth century Parisian mores seemed in part to mourn the passing of a more traditional order, there is little doubt that the modern subject rejoiced in the promise of a life lived publicly.

Whatever the authorial intention, there is little doubt that such principles of editing in which disparate public spaces are rapidly concatenated were both intelligible and economic to modern viewers precisely because they echoed real experiences of modern, urban life. One might say that our most profound moments have been equipped—like those cigarette packs—with a little image, a photograph of ourselves.

They flash by in as rapid a sequence as the booklets of our childhood In order to deal with the shock of modernity, he must mentally compartmentalise and harden himself emotionally. This process is a complex one.

For both figures, public life is experienced dialectically, as a constellation of seemingly oppositional and antithetical forces. It requires a special gift, suggests Baudelaire, to attain a state of solitude within the multitudes of the metropolis. The true hero takes his pleasure alone Baudelaire , p. The specific city spaces in which Neff seeks refuge are relevant in this respect.

Whilst waitresses bustle busily in the background of the drive-in restaurant, Neff is able to drink his beer sitting inside his car, at once immersed and estranged. Neff loiters in city spaces to allay his anxiety, to gain temporary respite from his troubles and most importantly to deal with his unbearable desire for the femme fatale.

It is by diverting his attention to an array of cosmopolitan delights, for example, that Count Muffat attempts albeit unsuccessfully to banish images of Nana from his mind: Jostled by a passer-by, the Count unconsciously left the paperweights, and found himself in front of a window full of knickknacks, where he gazed with his absorbed expression at an array of notebooks and cigar-cases Zola , p.

His is a meandering trajectory in which the destination cannot be known until he arrives: For nearly an hour he roamed the district like that, always picking the darkest corners Zola , p. Here they can indulge their thoughts of the femme fatale without being fully overwhelmed. Likewise, Neff attempts to banish thoughts of Phyllis by embracing consumer culture. When its protagonist, Mathieu, visits a bar, his loneliness is temporarily mitigated and his immense anguish assuaged: Mathieu suddenly felt a kinship with all those creatures who would have done so much better to go home, but no longer had the power, and sat there smoking slender cigarettes, drinking steely-tasting compounds, smiling, as their ears oozed music, and dismally contemplating the wreckage of their destiny: Fear does not shake him, because he ensures that he remains at all times unaffected and unsullied by the urban crowd.

An opportunistic engagement with the city can also be discerned in a number of archival records and personal testimonies from the nineteenth century onwards. We lived there more than in our own houses. Despite his compulsion to wander, Count Muffat reaps no comfort from this activity.

Significantly, vital admissions by Baudelaire reveal a similar disillusionment. In another correspondence with his mother, this in , Baudelaire speaks of the anomie engendered by terminal occupation of public spaces: It is from this vantage point that the protagonist first views the compellingly fascinating anonymous man, thus inaugurating his hermeneutic excursion through the city.

Similarly, Neff assumes various vantage points his car in the drive-in restaurant, for instance from which he can regard the urban action without being consumed by it. Although Neff is partially redeemed by his status as consumer, the commodities he consumes beer, recreational sport are ultimately ephemeral and do little more than facilitate idle loitering.

He recollects via voiceover: That evening I took her to dinner at a Mexican joint down on Olivera Street where nobody would see us. I wanted to cheer her up. Next day was Sunday and we went for a ride down to the beach.

She had loosened up a bit and she was even laughing. This explanation is accompanied by images of Neff and Lola seated at a table in a busy restaurant in which crowds of people move across the frame in the background.

Compositionally, Neff and Lola are positioned in the foreground, facing each other yet immobile, consigning all other action to a peripheral plane. They remain separate from the action around them. Neff chose this eatery, he explains, because it was safe. In the modern world, total safety and immunity are impossible.

The real threat, however, comes from those with whom one is intimately acquainted, and not from the mass of strangers one encounters in the city. Loitering in the anonymous city is closely connected to the preservation of physical safety and psychic integrity.

Shortly thereafter, Phyllis arrives. Phyllis expresses her envy at such a makeshift situation: Just strangers beside you. Despite the fact that Phyllis married her husband for money and security, her domestic situation is akin to imprisonment. An examination of several nineteenth and twentieth century discourses reveals a similar tendency.

Freedom in the modern world, it seemed, had become possible only through an anonymous and disenfranchised existence. As Sennett notes, the nineteenth century voyage to the great cities London, Paris, Berlin differed considerably from the urban migration of the eighteenth century, which had been a kind of picaresque journey usually undertaken by young, single people.

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