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G324: Advanced Portfolio in MediaG324: Advanced Portfolio in MediaG324: Advanced Portfolio in MediaG324: Advanced Portfolio in Media
Narrative Narrative Narrative Narrative
Film is a way of telling stories about ourselves
– not usually our own personal stories, but thestory of us as a culture or set of cultures. Since stories in film have to be told in a very shortspace of time filmmakers have to adopt specific ways of telling stories. Narrative theory setsout to show that what we experience when we ‘
’ a story is to understand a particular setof constructions, or conventions, and that it is important to be aware of how theseconstructions are put together.
: The structure of a film.
fictional space and time implied by the narrative
– the world inwhich the story takes place.
: Literally –
the quality of appearing to be real or true
. For a storyto engage us it must appear to be real to us as we watch it (the diegetic effect). Thestory must therefore have verisimilitude – following the rules of continuity, temporaland special coherence.
TheTheTheThe Structure Of The Classic Narrative SystemStructure Of The Classic Narrative SystemStructure Of The Classic Narrative SystemStructure Of The Classic Narrative System
This structure is not unique to film. In fact it is an integral part of the majority of both westernand eastern cultures. Thus what we expect from film is informed by our exposure to novelsand plays. According to
(1985), the standard Hollywood narrative structure shouldhave:1. Linearity of cause and effect within an overall trajectory of enigma resolution.2. A high degree of
A fictional world that contains verisimilitude especially governed by
spatial andtemporal coherence
4. Centrality of the narrative agency of psychologically rounded characters.
Narrative Structure Narrative Structure Narrative Structure Narrative Structure
Every story ever told can be fitted into one of eight narrative types. Each of these narrativetypes has a source, an original story upon which the others are based. These stories are asfollows:1.
: The fatal flaw that leads to the destruction of the previously flawless, oralmost flawless, person, e.g.
Superman, Fatal Attraction.
: The indomitable hero who cannot be put down, e.g. Indiana Jones, JamesBond, Rocky etc.3.
: The dream comes true, e.g.
: The Chase, the spider and the fly, the innocent and the victim e.g.
Smokey And The Bandit, Duel, The Terminator
: Selling your soul to the devil may bring riches but eventually your soulbelongs to him, e.g.
: The loss of something personal, the gift that is taken away, the tragedy oflosss or the journey which follows the loss, e.g.
The Sixth Sense
Born On the Fourth Of July
Romeo And Juliet
: The love story, e.g.
Tristan and Iseult
: The love triangle, Man loves woman…unfortunately one or bothof them are already spoken for, or a third party intervenes, e.g.
DOMAILLE, KATE, (2001). Narrative Theory,
The Horror Genre: Classroom Resources
,Leighton Buzzard: Auteur Publishing, p.2.1.