A Chance Encounter


Film Noir and Badiou’s Concept of the Situation




This essay uses Badiou’s concept of the situation to discuss the movies of the 1940s and 50s known as film noir. In film noir the human subject experiences the city as the site of an encounter with an event that ruptures the order of their ordinary experience. The indifferent multiplicity of the situation provides the noir protagonist with a project. By means of this project the person becomes a subject, and a sequence of events begins that, after crime, crisis and disaster, eventually ends in a luminous experience of truth. The essay shows that film noir provides a useful exemplification of Badiou’s work....


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