Introduction to Crime Fiction (03:58)
Watch an excerpt of "Goodfellas." Edgar Allen Poe created the genre with "Murders in the Rue Morgue." Crime fiction contains elements of fantasy and tragedy. Michael Mann considers "Heat" a human drama, not crime fiction. (Credits)
The Investigator: Crime Novel Heroes (02:03)
In every thriller there is a trio of characters: the victim, the criminal and the investigator. Olivier Marchal explains why the protagonist is difficult to understand until the action begins. Since crime fiction was created, heroes have evolved because of world wars, crises and technological progress.
The Investigator: Harry Bosch (03:31)
Michael Connelly discusses the inspirations for his protagonist. Listen to an excerpt of "The Black Echo." Connelly describes how he implements the same crime fiction framework in each of his novels to explore an issue or location he wants.
The Investigator: Combating Evil (02:18)
Petros Markaris discusses how stories of chivalry influence crime novels. Mann explains why writers and directors relate to detectives. Christian Petzold loves detectives because they can witness everything and go anywhere they want.
The Investigator: Modern Dark Knights (03:35)
From James Cagney's "Public Enemy" to Otto Preminger's "Anatomy of Murder," film noir created a multitude of characters. Comic strips and graphic novels also contributed to the genre. In "Blacksad," Juanjo Guarnido created a contemporary detective protagonist in the form of a black cat.
The Investigator: Anti-Heroes (01:40)
Sam Esmail loved reading stories about anti-heroes and explains how these characters should be a little sociopathic. Watch an excerpt from "Pulp Fiction." In the 1990s, Stieg Larsson's, Henning Mankell's, and Arnaldur Indriðason's books became international bestsellers.
The Investigator: Scandinavian Authors (03:51)
Jo Nesbo's teacher called his mother after he wrote a story entitled "A Lovely Day in the Forest," where none of the children live. Harry Hole is an anti-hero protagonist whose imperfection is alcoholism. Listen to an excerpt of "The Leopard."
The Criminal: Evil (03:29)
Nesbo attempts to ask moral, political, or philosophical questions in his writing. Serial killers and gang members have elusive motivations, which make them more monstrous. Antagonists are more interesting than the heroes; crime fiction makes readers fall in love with criminals.
The Criminal: Fear (03:29)
As a child, Hong-Jin Na possessed three movies: "Miller's Crossing," "True Romance," and "Once Upon a Time in America." He wonders if he would have become a serial killer if he had not become a filmmaker. When writing "The Chaser," he followed a girl home in order to get an idea of what his character would feel.
The Criminal: Humanity and Motivation (02:40)
David Cage believes authors should create characters who are neither entirely good nor evil. Andrei Rubanov feels the psychology of the characters is more interesting than the plot. The Noir genre emerged after World War II because people needed to reconcile going back to their daily lives after witnessing terror and oppression.
The Criminal: Hero (03:23)
Listen to an excerpt of "Do Time, Get Time." Rubanov spent three years in Matrosskaya Tishina prison in Moscow— he remembers the diseases, fights, substance abuse, and cruelty. Rubanov is considered the top writer for criminal lingo within the country.
The Criminal: Non-Fiction Inspirations (03:08)
Mann recounts how Jerry Scalise would swear to straighten out his life when leaving prison and want to score ten minutes later. Marchant describes the moral dilemma in writing about criminals who exist in reality. Leonardo Oyola grew up in a dangerous area of Buenos Ares; in his early books, he wrote about killing his elementary school classmates.
The Criminal: Repressed Violence (03:05)
Listen to an excerpt of "Chamame." Oyola's favorite crime fiction includes "Pulp Fiction" and "Raymond Chandler" because the characters use tactics of their opponents. When speaking at a school for disadvantaged youth, he says his favorite type of literature is bumper stickers.
The Criminal: Suffering (02:13)
See a scene from "El Bonaerense."Caryl Ferey explains that he writes criminals who end up worse off than the heroes. Oyola comments on the collaboration of law enforcement and dictatorship in Argentina. Watch an excerpt of "Sin City."
The Victim (01:47)
Victims are injured or killed out of anger and violence. Petzold describes how Peter Lorre in "M" was publicly hated, but seemed to be begging for empathy. Angela Makholwa writes strong female characters because they are typically the victims in real life.
Perpetrator or Victim? (03:55)
Former forensic photographer Andrea Strassheim likes the TV show "Dexter." She remembers how powerful and uncomfortable she felt when she bound, blindfolded, and poured fake blood on five people while recreating a crime scene. "Evidence" is a series of photographs featuring blood spatter that were taken in a home where four children were murdered.
The Victim: Fear (02:57)
Anne Landois feels that damaging a victim's body is unnecessary; police have told her that the sight of a dead child is the most difficult. Strassheim was hoping by photographing crimes, some of the anxiety she feels around murder would diminish, but it is still present. Simon explains that characters are tool in storytelling.
Credits: The Criminal, The Victim, And The Investigator: Part One— Anatomy of Crime Fiction (01:04)
Credits: The Criminal, The Victim, And The Investigator: Part One— Anatomy of Crime Fiction
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