Mysteries in Film: Visual Narrative, Deceit, and Murder

Elective Courses

CINE 194 - Mysteries in Film: Visual Narrative, Deceit, and Murder

COML 194
601 |Sari Kawana |R 6-9pm

This course examines a wide range of mystery films in order to explore the relationship between the literary genre of detective fiction and the medium of film as visual narrative. Ever since Sherlock Holmes brilliantly articulated the importance of interpreting visual clues for the detective, vision and visuality have been considered the detective's most important sense and tool. Various film adaptations of detective stories have faithfully followed this view both through the character of the central detective and the visual reconstruction of the story, while others play on this golden rule (sometimes even overtly making fun of it)—suggesting that what you see is not always what you get. In addition to theoretical readings in genre studies and film criticism, the required materials for the course include 15 movies, including classics, such as The Bishop Murder Case and The Maltese Falcon, more recent hits like Chinatown and Seven, detective films set in pre-modern worlds such as The Name of the Rose, Cadfael, parodies such as Clue and Murder by Death, as well as non-Western films like Rashomon and Tell Me Something.

last updated 06/25/2014 - 3:56pm

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782