L.A. Private Eyes (Rutgers University)
L.A. Private Eyes examines the tradition of the private eye as it evolves in films, books, and television shows set in Los Angeles from the 1930’s through the present day. It takes a closer look at narratives—both on screen and on the printed page—in which detectives travel the streets of Los Angeles, uncovering corruption, moral ambiguity, and greed with the conviction of urban cowboys, while always ultimately finding truth and redemption. With a review of Los Angeles history, crime stories, and film noir, L.A. Private Eyes explores the metamorphosis of the solitary detective figure and the many facets of the genre itself, from noir to mystery, on the screen. While the conventions of the genre may have remained consistent and recognizable, the points where they evolve illuminate much about our changing gender and power roles.
The talk will focus on the way VERONICA MARS, the title character of the television show created by ROB THOMAS, brought the private detective into the twenty-first century. The event will also feature jewelry designed by Liza Shtromberg and inspired by the book L.A. PRIVATE EYES.
Dahlia Schweitzer is a professor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She is also the author of Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World (Rutgers University Press).
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