five questions

The Maltese Falcon is seemingly a chase for a valuable statue, but when looked at through the lens of five questions the story can be seen as a quest for justice.

last updated: 31 March 2019; category: story  people: Dashiell Hammett  Sam Spade  Humphrey Bogart 

On first sight, Chinatown feels like a story about political corruption, corporate greed, and financial shenanigans, but as the story develops it becomes far more about the exercise of personal power. By asking five questions we can get to the central core of the story.

last updated: 29 March 2019; category: story  people: Jake Gittes  Roman Polanski  Jack Nicholson  Faye Dunaway 

Where Eagles Dare could be mistaken for a straightforward World War II action/adventure movie. Scratch below the surface—and ask five questions—and it’s an espionage piece, looking at who can be trusted, and how you flush out the bad guys.

last updated: 27 February 2019; category: story  people: Richard Burton  Clint Eastwood  Mary Ure  Alistair MacLean 

Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare’s best known plays. Traditionally, it is viewed as a tragedy, but it could be viewed as a crime story and the interrogated with five questions.

last updated: 24 January 2019; category: story  people: Macbeth  William Shakespeare 

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley introduces Easy Rawlins, an African American World War II veteran who has just lost his job and needs money to pay his mortgage. By asking five questions we can get to the heart of the story.

last updated: 22 January 2019; category: story  people: Walter Mosley  Easy Rawlins 

The Day of the Jackal is a story about a failed assassination attempt. Five questions can explain the central premise on which the story is built.

last updated: 5 January 2019; category: story  people: Frederick Forsyth  Claude Lebel 

Five questions can reveal the core of a story. These five questions are my canary in the coal mine—unless I can answer the questions, then I don’t have a grasp on the story. And once I do have a grasp, then these questions are my map and guiding star to …

last updated: 6 September 2018; category: story