Serial killing is an extremely rare form of homicide that is nonetheless culturally ubiquitous. Much of what makes it so resonant is the very naming of it ‘serial’. The seriality of serial killing – the temporal form of narratives of multiple murder – touches on perceptions about the organization of time in modern culture and the fears and also pleasures it affords. This presentation will focus on serial killer films and reference a number of titles including And Soon the Darkness (UK 1970), Las horas del día (Spain 2003), Seven (USA 1995) and Sombre (France 1998).
Richard Dyer is Professor Emeritus at King’s College London and Honorary Professorial Fellow at St Andrews University. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and received awards from the Society for Cinema and Media studies, Harvard University and the University of Bordeaux. He has been a visiting professor in Philadelphia, Naples, Stockholm, New York Bergamo and Bloomington Indiana and has lectured very widely internationally. His books include Stars; Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society; Now You See It: Historical Studies in Lesbian and Gay Film; Only Entertainment; The Matter of Images; Brief Encounter; White; Seven; The Culture of Queers; Pastiche; Nino Rota; In the Space of a Song; and La dolce vita.
The lecture is part of the current ICI Lecture Series ERRANS, in Time. Ideas of physical, social, revolutionary time, internal time consciousness, or historical experience are far from settled in their respective discourses and practices. Yet attempts to harmonize or correlate the understanding of time and temporal phenomena generated in different disciplines all-too quickly resort to normative, if not teleological ideas of progress, efficiency, or experiential plenitude. Can the heterogenous relations between discordant conceptions of time and temporality be understood as being ‘erratically’ structured, that is, as marked by inherent misapprehensions, a dissonance that defies regulation, and an unexpected variability?
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