The Stories: Introduction (04:07)
The popular crime fiction genre first appeared in 1841 with Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Authors and filmmakers discuss plots. See an excerpt from "Les Lyonnais." (Credits)
Plot: Hackers (01:50)
Crime fiction evolves with current realities. Anurag Kashyap discusses how the real threat of identity theft can be an effective story-line can be in crime fiction. Mann shares the influences behind his film, "Blackhat."
Plot: Cyberwarfare (03:41)
As a college student, Sam Esmail dabbled in cybercrime— he insisted the cast of "Mr. Robot" attend a hacking seminar before they started shooting the TV show. Esmail believes Facebook is dangerous, because it monetizes interpersonal relationships.
Modern Technology and Crime Fiction (01:16)
Amateur private investigators can review unsolved cases in the "Serial" podcast or try to solve closed cases at websleuth.com. Video games like "Her Story" allow players to investigate fake cases.
Can You Solve a Murder? (03:18)
In "The Last Hours of Laura K." players are provided footage, social media and phone conversations of the last 24 hours of a woman's life to see if they can solve her murder. Writers incorporated local hot spots like to provide authenticity.
Personally Driven Crime Story (03:17)
"The Code" focuses on corrupt lawmakers and cops amidst an accident. Shelley Birse believes crime drama is becoming increasingly ambiguous. Her TV show is character focused and blurs the lines between paranoia and real conspiracy.
Not Far From Reality (02:13)
Leonardo Oyola prefers physical contact over cyber arguments. Kashyap explains that truth is often stranger than fiction. News items provide inspiration to crime fiction creators.
International Crime Fiction (04:31)
Angela Makholwa writes about the class and race gaps still open in urban South Africa. Her latest project focuses on a city cop, and she regularly visits the police station for inspiration. "Red Ink" drew upon a personal experience when she asked a serial killer for an exclusive interview.
Research is Essential (03:14)
Nele Neuhaus says crime fiction novels romanticize police work. George Pelecanos explains that writers must immerse themselves in the world. Even if a character appears for only a few pages, Jo Nesbo will track down someone in the same profession to provide authenticity.
Kerr visits the locations he is writing about and records musings in his notebook to give his characters a natural authority. His protagonist, Bernie Gunther, lives in Nazi Germany. Kerr talks about losing his own identity by immersing himself in his characters.
Addiction in Crime Fiction (04:16)
Anne Landois combined her love for writing and her desire to become a police officer. "Spiral" is aired in over 40 countries and won an Emmy Award. Writing staff collaborates on stories with consultants to ensure authenticity. Landois describes how the group will meet, decide on a story-line, and come in the next day thinking it is not good enough.
Character Complexity (02:14)
"Romanzo Criminale" was written by Italian novelist and magistrate, Giancarlo De Cataldo. He writes about organized crime within contemporary Italy and enjoys that his villains are not just functional antagonists. Fyodor Dosteyevsky attended trials to understand the Russian courts.
Mobsters Mimicked Television and Books (02:50)
Edward G. Robinson portrayed Al Capone in the movie "Little Caesar." Sandokan, head of the Casalesi clan, built a replica of Tony Montana's home in "Scarface." At the funeral of Vittorio Casamonica, the music from "The Godfather" played— A lieutenant presented Massimo Carminati with a katana after Cataldo and Carlo Bonini gave him the nickname "The Samurai."
Influence of Media on Society (03:00)
Joaquín Guzmán met Sean Penn to discuss his life's story. Police called Michael Mann wondering about similarities between a recent bank robbery and a scene from "Heat." Safe manufacturing companies threatened to sue Mann, because they felt he was providing thieves with instructions on how to break into their products in "Thief."
Connection Between Underworld and Glamor (03:16)
Kashyap thinks criminals see themselves as "Robin Hood." Leonardo Oyola is writing a screenplay about Ariel Staltari's kidnapping. Staltari believes that portraying Walter in "Okupas" saved his life.
Conclusion: The Stories: Part Three— Anatomy of Crime Fiction (03:24)
Crime fiction draws on reality for inspiration. Authors and filmmakers discuss how they manipulate readers so they are surprised by the conclusion of the story. Nesbo explains how important it is to architect the narrative so readers trust the author.
Credits: The Stories: Part Three— Anatomy of Crime Fiction (01:02)
Credits: The Stories: Part Three— Anatomy of Crime Fiction
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