Crime: A Popular Genre in Literature and Films

1232 Words5 Pages
An Examination of Textual Form in 4 Crime Texts Crime is one of the most popular subjects in literature and film. At the same time, however, the genre also boasts an exceptional number of texts that experiment with form, doing so in a manner that causes audiences to reflect on the nature of crime and the relationship between crime and the average citizen. In this vein, one of the challenges of crime writing is to represent justice and crime while doing so in a manner that challenges conventional audience assumptions about morality and the criminal justice system. This paper focuses on four crime texts that are formally innovative, calling into question the applicability of traditional moral values (right versus wrong), and the ease with which even ordinary people can become implicated in crime. The analysis progresses in chronological order, beginning with three film texts Double Indemnity (1944), Rear Window (1954), Psycho (1960) and culminating in an examination of Tom Stoppard's 1968 play The Real Inspector Hound. Through examining the formal structure of the four texts and the ways in which they deviate from the norms of their genre and medium, this paper explores how formal experimentation effectively implicates the viewer and revises how one perceives of crime. The canonization of Double Indemnity as one of the most famous film noirs ever made perhaps obscures the fact that it is a formally experimental film that deploys innovative methods to convey the psychology
Open Document