Lesson 7 Narrative

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  1. 1. DISCUSS: WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE? WHERE ARE THEY? DO THEY KNOW EACH OTHER? HOW DO THEY FEEL?
  2. 2. PAPERMAN IN PAIRS OR THREES PREDICT WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FILM. YOUVE GOT 5 MINUTES TO WRITE A SHORT STORY.
  3. 3. WATCH
  4. 4. NARRATIVE VS STORY WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? STORY HAS A BEGINNING, MIDDLE AND END NARRATIVE IS THE ORDER THE STORY IS TOLD. NARRATIVE STRUCTURE=THE WAY A STORY IS ORGANISED AND SHAPED IN TERMS OF TIME AND EVENTS 2 MAIN TYPES OF NARRATIVE: LINEAR NON LINEAR
  5. 5. STRUCTURALIST THEORY STRUCTURALIST THEORY IS INVOLVED IN IDENTIFYING HOW NARRATIVES HAVE A FORM OF STRUCTURE TO THEM WHETHER IT BE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CHARACTERS HAVING A CLEARLY DEFINABLE STRUCTURE FOR EXAMPLE HERO VS. VILLAIN. IT COULD BE THE PLOT, LANGUAGE USED IN THE SCRIPT ETC..
  6. 6. LEVI-STRAUSS: STRUCTURALISM CLAUDE LEVI-STRAUSS, A FRENCH THEORIST (NOT THE JEANS!) DEVISED SEVERAL INFLUENTIAL THEORIES THAT HELP US TO UNDERSTAND HOW MEANING IS ESTABLISHED QUICKLY IN OPENINGS. BINARY OPPOSITIONS CREATE MEANING THROUGH ESTABLISHING WHAT SOMETHING IS NOT. WE UNDERSTAND THE WORLD THROUGH A SYSTEM OF POWER WEIGHTED OPPOSITIONS. ONE THING CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT ITS OPPOSITE
  7. 7. BINARY OPPOSITIONS MAN VS WOMAN WHITE VS BLACK YOUNG VS OLD HERO VS VILLAIN WEST VS EAST GOOD VS BAD
  8. 8. BINARY OPPOSITIONS BINARY OPPOSITIONS CAN HELP ESTABLISH WHO THE GOOD AND THE BAD CHARACTERS ARE IN VERY QUICKLY. THE IDEA THAT WE CANNOT CONCEIVE THE CONCEPT OF GOOD WITHOUT THE PRESENCE OF BAD WITH WHICH TO COMPARE IT TO AND THEREFORE DEFINE IT AGAINST. BINARY OPPOSITIONS ARE OBVIOUSLY PRESENT IN NARRATIVES BECAUSE
  9. 9. LINEAR NARRATIVE THE STORY HAS A BEGINNING, A MIDDLE AND AN END, TOLD IN THAT ORDER. THIS CAN BE REFERRED TO AS CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD NARRATIVE OR 3 ACT STRUCTURE. A -> B -> C -> D - > E
  10. 10. NON LINEAR NARRATIVE THIS IS A NARRATIVE THAT PLAYS WITH THE ORDER, I.E.: D -> A -> C -> B - > E THIS IS SOMETIMES USED IN EXPERIMENTAL OR ALTERNATIVE FILMS. IT CAN ALSO BE USED IN BIG BUDGET STUDIO PRODUCED FILMS. IN SOME CASES THIS NARRATIVE STRUCTURE CAN APPEAR ARTISTIC OR FOLLOW OTHER GENRE CONVENTIONS.
  11. 11. STRUCTURE = HOW ITS TOLD CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER? FLASHBACKS? REPETITION OF EVENTS FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES? NARRATOR? PARALLEL EPISODES? THE LACK OF IDENTIFIABLE STRUCTURE IS UNUSUAL IN MAINSTREAM CINEMA. PULP FICTION - LOTS OF TIME SHIFTS BUT ORDER/SHAPE EVENTUALLY FOUND. (TARANTINO,
  12. 12. NARRATIVE TZVETAN TODOROV Equilibrium - A sense of normality, the calm before the storm. Disruption - The point where the story changes: a death, an event, a situation. Recognition of Disruption Attempt to repair Restoration of a New Equilibrium - Where normality is restored.
  13. 13. VLADIMIR PROPPS SEVEN SPHERES OF ACTION: HERO: INDIVIDUAL(S) WHO'S QUEST IS TO RESTORE THE EQUILIBRIUM. VILLAIN: INDIVIDUAL(S) WHO'S TASK IS TO DISRUPT THE EQUILIBRIUM. DONOR: INDIVIDUAL(S) WHO GIVES THE HERO(S) SOMETHING, ADVICE, INFORMATION OR AN OBJECT. HELPER: INDIVIDUAL(S) WHO AIDS THE HERO(S) WITH THEIR SET TASK. PRINCESS (PRINCE): INDIVIDUAL(S) WHICH NEED HELP, PROTECTING AND SAVING. DISPATCHER: INDIVIDUAL(S) WHO SEND THE HERO(S) ON THEIR QUEST. FALSE HERO: INDIVIDUAL(S) WHO SET OUT TO UNDERMINE THE HERO'S QUEST BY PRETENDING TO AID THEM. OFTEN UNMASKED AT THE END OF THE FILM
  14. 14. MULTI-STRAND NARRATIVE A MULTI-STRAND NARRATIVE STRUCTURE MEANS THERE ARE SEVERAL NARRATIVES RUNNING AT THE SAME TIME.
  15. 15. NARRATIVE STRUCTURE - ENDINGS NARRATIVE STRUCTURE IS THE WAY THE STORY OR PLOT UNFOLDS. IS THE STORY AN OPEN OR CLOSED STRUCTURE. A CLOSED STRUCTURE MEANS THE STORY ENDS SATISFACTORILY AS IN MOST FILMS - THIS IS KNOWN AS CLOSURE, WITH THE GIRL GETTING THE BOY OR THE HERO SAVING THE PLANET. AN OPEN ENDING MEANS THERE IS NO FINAL CONCLUSION TO THE STORY - A TELEVISION SOAP HAS NO FINAL ENDING, IT JUST HAS MINOR ENDINGS (A CHARACTER GETS KILLED). IT IS LEFT OPEN FOR THE STORY TO CONTINUE. CAN YOU THINK OF ANY EXAMPLES?
  16. 16. BARTHES ROLAND BARTHES, IDENTIFIED SEVERAL NARRATIVE CODES. ONE OF HIS MOST ACCESSIBLE IDEAS IS THE ENIGMA CODE THIS IS A CODE IN A NARRATIVE SURROUNDING PUZZLES. THE MAIN CHARACTER FACES A PUZZLE AND HAS TO FIND A WAY TO SOLVE THIS IN ORDER TO PROGRESS. BARTHES BELIEVES THAT THIS IS A NARRATIVE DEVICE USED AS A WAY TO PROLONG A FILMS INEVITABLE ENDING. ANOTHER CODE WAS THE ACTION CODE. THIS IS OBVIOUS WHEN ANALYSING NARRATIVE AS THERE WILL BE AN OBVIOUS ACTION MOMENT E.G. WHEN THE HERO
  17. 17. SOUND AS NARRATIVE DEVICESOUND IS KEY WHEN THINKING OF DIEGETIC(WITHIN THE WORLD OF THE FILM) AND NON DIEGETIC (SOUND EFFECT OR SOUND TRACK) SOUND IS A SIGNIFIER OF ACTION THE FAST PACED LOUD SOUNDTRACK THAT ACCOMPANIES AN ACTION SEQUENCE. AN EMOTIVE STRING BASED SONG SIGNIFYING THE DEATH OF A CHARACTER NON- DIEGETIC.
  18. 18. FLASHBACKS & EDITING AS PART OF NARRATIVE FLASHBACKS CAN BE USEFUL FOR THE AUDIENCE IN PLACING A CHARACTER IN A CERTAIN TIME OR AS A MEANS OF EXPLAINING HOW A CHARACTER AS ARRIVED AT THE PLACE THAT THEY ARE IN. EDITING AS YOU KNOW IS VITAL WHEN HELPING TO ACHIEVE MEANING. THE EDIT IN ITSELF CAN FORM A NARRATIVE
  19. 19. TRANSITIONS THE PROCESS OF CUTTING FROM ONE SHOT TO ANOTHER. THE MOST COMMON IS: 1. THE STRAIGHT CUT OR SIMPLY CUT. HOWEVER THERE ARE OTHER MEANS OF TRANSITION AVAILABLE TO A FILM EDITOR: 2. FADE TO BLACK 3. DISSOLVE/CROSS FADE 4. WIPE
  20. 20. RESTRICTED NARRATIVE WE CAN IDENTIFY EXAMPLES OF THIS WHEN THINKING OF FILMS WHEN WE ARE NOT GIVEN THE FULL STORY AND HAVE TO DECIDE FOR OURSELVES WHAT IS HAPPENING. SOMETIMES WE DO NOT KNOW WHY CHARACTERS ARE IN THE LOCATIONS THEY ARE ETC. RESTRICTED AND HIDDEN NARRATIVE CAN SUBLIMINALLY CAUSE THE AUDIENCE TO FILL IN THAT GAPS.
  21. 21. SESSION RECAP Q. WHAT IS NARRATIVE? Q. WHY IS NARRATIVE DIFFERENT TO STORY? Q. WHAT IS PLOT? Q. EXPLAIN STRUCTURALIST NARRATIVE THEORY Q. WHAT IS A LINEAR NARRATIVE? Q. WHAT IS A NON LINEAR NARRATIVE? Q. HOW CAN THE EQUILIBRIUM BE DISTURBED IN A NARRATIVE? Q. WHAT IS BARTHES ENIGMA CODE? Q. NAME 4 OF PROPPS CHARACTERS Q. HOW CAN SOUND BE USED AS A NARRATIVE DEVICE? Q. EXPLAIN RESTRICTIVE NARRATIVE Q. HOW CAN EDITING AND FLASHBACKS BE A NARRATIVE DEVICE?