L’anonymat du méchant

Amanda Studniarek

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Abstract :
At times, what makes the villain a good villain in a movie is that we cannot see him, or at least not directly. Although this lack of visibility or impossible identification clearly serves the filmic suspense by activating the mechanisms of fear about what cannot be seen, we wish to study how the villain character comes alive without being directly shown, or how some directors manage to make his presence tangible through the anguishing dynamics of invisibility or impossible identification. Focusing on themes such as the mask and the masked, we will dwell upon films using very different strategies, such as Duel by Steven Spielberg (TV movie, 1971), Se7en by David Fincher (1995), From Hell by the Hughes brothers (2001) or When a Stranger Calls by Simon West (2006) in order to try and answer the following questions : why is the face of the antagonist all the more daunting as it cannot be seen and his identity remains a blank ? What are the powers granted to the villain and what sound and visual strategies are used in order to conceal him – altogether or only partially ? What is the imaginary world stemming from the various processes involved ? If the identity of the villain is eventually revealed in the movie, what does such a revelation involve ?
Published : 2018-07-23


Amanda Studniarek, « L’anonymat du méchant », Cycnos, 2018-07-23. URL : http://epi-revel.univ-cotedazur.fr/publication/item/176