I responded to Calmgrove’s post, “Locked Room Cozy is a Page-turner” , making an observation on the nature of the whodunnit. This is pure speculation, but if we keep in mind that all forms of Mass Media contain values, beliefs and ideologies, one can see how male biasesand values could shape the characteristics of mystery stories and the development of the literary detective. I suspect that the whodunnit almost falls into male and female categories. Obviously readers and writers of both genders can move from the one type to the other. However the evolution of the genre appears to have evolved out of a societal-cultural role pattern and expectations. Early detectives, tended to rely on the male preference for a mechanistic approach to solving the mystery. Their knowledge and observational skills concentrated on the how of the mystery. In effect, the whodunnit is very often a process of discovering how it was done in order to catch the perpetrator of the crime.
The early Lady Detectives were written in the model of the male detectives, using their skills and knowledge in the same manner as their male counterparts. Their advantage was in how society under estimated them and in their observation of things, most men would have considered inconsequential, the emphasis was on the how in order to arrive at the who.
Male whodunnit – How-dunnit discovers the mechanics of the mystery.
Female whodunnit – Why-dunnit leads to the mechanics of the mystery.
Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple demonstrates a shift as observations about human behaviour places more significance on emotions and motivations. The one detective figures out how it was done to discover who did it. The other detective investigates motive, the why, which leads to who. The who then helps provides the means of unravelling the method . Both detectives are essentially puzzle solvers who approach the puzzle from different sides.
The Hard Boiled detective follows a convoluted emotional path full of ethical grey areas. Lots of physical encounters, where action & threat are a metaphor for the detective’s emotional vulnerability. The solitary male detective follows a physical trail to the emotional heart of the mystery. The puzzle/mystery is cracked open (to crack the case); the detective seeks emotional whys in a hands on manner. The mystery always involves the eternal mystery of the dangerous/unattainable woman, Femme Fatale.
In the Noir world of the Hard Boiled Detective, women could be obstacles, goals, and antagonists. Even so, the Lady Detective could play out the role of protagonist, as long as she followed the masculine path of the knight errant down the mean streets.
Magali Charrier was commissioned by PUMAPeace, alongside 7 other artists, to create a piece around the idea of Peace for the World Peace Festival 2011. The piece was subsequently broadcast on Channel4 in October 2011 as part of Random Acts.
“I use drawing as a tool for investigating the human body and its inner workings—giving sight to what is only felt, not yet seen or known. By merging animated drawings with live action, I put mark making at the centre of filmmaking. In their dialogue, body and trace question the materiality of movement and of human presence.
For films4peace, I was concerned with depicting the intimate battles that occur daily within oneself and the chaotic journey that takes place in order to reach inner peace. A simple setting: one fixed long shot, a human figure in an empty space. Stillness. Suddenly shadows flicker out of the human figure, sporadically first, then frenetically entering and extracting themselves, interfering and frantically disrupting the initial state, building up to darkness. Peace comes as a sudden breath born out of chaos.”
Charrier is an award winning director, animator and video editor whose work has been toured and broadcast throughout the world.
Her background in fine arts, animation and dance gives her a highly sought-after and distinctive style often incorporating film and animation. She is the recipient of numerous awards (VideoDansa Prize, Barcelona; NAHEMI Award at Encounters Film Festival, Bristol, Best Dance Film at CineDans Festival, Amsterdam and more) and bursaries from Channel4, BBC4 and the Arts Council.
Magali also works as a visual artist, producing animated video projections for live theatre and dance productions as well as short films and illustration. She completed a short series of animated films about contemporary dance, commissioned by The Place. The series was due to launch in summer 2014.
New mass media technology changes social behaviour and has impact on laws, businesses and education systems. The situation for Christina Lee and Michael Saba is a bureaucratic bump in the technological highway to the future. Their home seems to be an off ramp for lost phones. Due to a puzzling combination of technological possibilities, their home keeps being identified as a location of missing phones. Multiple tech theoretical solutions fail to solve the problem.
This technological mystery is compounded by a legal limbo that grows around the incidents of those seeking phones and people who are not at the couples’ residence. Who is responsible for this problem and the potential outcome from an angry disbelieving stranger at the door ? In the present situation, no business or government body has responsibility for “a sorry, wrong GPS location”. Once again, the impact of Mass Media technology out strips business & government’s ability to adapt to new configurations of human behaviour and technological outcomes. Read the full Fusion article by Kashmir Hill in the link below.
Sometimes people are angry. Sometimes sad. Sometimes they have police officers with them. But all of them are convinced their phones are in this Atlanta house.