4 narrative

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  • What he is basically saying is that a text is like a tangled ball of threads which needs unravelling so we can separate out the colours. Once we start to unravel a text, we encounter an absolute plurality of potential meanings . We can start by looking at a narrative in one way, from one viewpoint, bringing to bear one set of previous experience, and create one meaning for that text. You can continue by unravelling the narrative from a different angle, by pulling a different thread if you like, and create an entirely different meaning. And so on. An infinite number of times. If you wanted to.
  • 4 narrative

    1. 1. Lesson 1
    2. 2. Representation• If you think the correct answer is blue, stay sat in your chair.• If you think the correct answer is red, stand up.• If you think the correct answer is green, stand on your chair.
    3. 3. Which phrase best describes ‘Representation’ • Media represents a form of reality. • Media represents people in a realistic way. • People are represented in the media by a number of signs and symbols.
    4. 4. Which is not an argument against the ‘Male Gaze’ Mulvey 1975 • ‘looking relations’ Jane Gaines 1988 – race and class • ‘inspecting gaze’ Michel Foucault 1977 – knowledge and power • ‘homosexual aspect’ ‘Queer viewing’ Evans & Gammon 1995
    5. 5. Narrative• A film opening or trailer will be ideal for this, as they both depend upon ideas about narrative in order to function.• Your music videos captures some narrative for analyses. They are also performance based, but interspersed with some fragments of narrative. There is enough about narrative in the product to make it worth analysis.
    6. 6. So what do you do in theexam?You need to state which project you are using and briefly describe it.You then need to analyse it using whichever concept appears in thequestion, making reference to relevant theory throughout.Keep being specific in your use of examples from the project.
    7. 7. The difference between Story & Narrative:• "Story is the irreducible substance of a story (A meets B, something happens, order returns), while narrative is the way the story is related (Once upon a time there was a princess...)" (Key Concepts in Communication - Fiske et al (1983))
    8. 8. • Successful stories require actions which change the lives of the characters in the story. They also contain some sort of resolution, where that change is registered, and which creates a new equilibrium for the characters involved.• Remember that narratives are not just those we encounter in fiction. Even news stories, advertisements and documentaries also have a constructed narrative which must be interpreted.
    9. 9. Barthes´ Codes Roland Barthes describes a text as: "a galaxy of signifiers, not a structure of signifieds; it has no beginning; it is reversible; we gain access to it by several entrances, none of which can be authoritatively declared to be the main one; the codes it mobilizes extend as far as the eye can read, they are indeterminable...the systems of meaning can take over this absolutely plural text, but their number is never closed, based as it is on the infinity of language..." (S/Z - 1974 translation)
    10. 10. BARTHES CODESAction Code: (proairetic code)something the audience knows and doesnt need explaining e.g. someonebeing wheeled out on a stretcher tells us they are going to hospitalEnigma Code: (hermeneutic code)something hidden from the audience (creates intrigue)Semic Code:something that the audience recognize through connotationsSymbolic Code:Something that symbolizes a more abstract concept e.g. a darker than usualroom of a murder scene could symbolize the depth of darkness and depravityCultural Code: (referential code)Something that is read with understanding due to cultural awareness (e.g.youth culture use certain words that are understood by that culture)
    11. 11. texts may be ´open´ (ie unravelled in a lot of differentways) or ´closed´ (there is onlyone obvious thread to pull on).
    12. 12. Propps Analysis of Folk Tales• Vladimir Propp analysed a whole series of Russian folk tales in the 1920s and decided that the same events kept being repeated in each of the stories, creating a consistent framework.• He broke down the tales into the smallest possible units, which he called narratemes, or narrative functions, necessary for the narrative to exist.
    13. 13. Propps Narrative Functions (in brief as there are 31!)Although the plot is driven by the actions and choices of thehero (the protagonist), these narrative functions are spreadbetween the main characters:– the villain, who struggles with the hero (formally known as the antagonist)– the donor,– the helper,– the Princess, a sought-for person (and/or her father), who exists as a goal and often recognizes and marries hero and/or punishes villain– the dispatcher,– the hero, who departs on a search (seeker-hero), reacts to the donor and weds– the false hero (or antihero or usurper), who claims to be the hero, often seeking and reacting like a real hero (ie by trying to marry the princess)Not all of these functions appear in every story, but theyalways appear in this order.
    14. 14. Can you apply Propp’s theory to your own production?
    15. 15. Beyond Propp• Propps lists are easy to learn - but are they so easily applied to every narrative you come across? We live in a world of very sophisticated narratives - many of them non-linear - which deliberately defy the conventions of traditional folk tales. Can you apply Propp consistently if the hero is female? Can you substitute "science" for "magic"? Are all narratives about struggles between heroes and villains - or do we oversimplify them if we try to claim that they are? Propps theories rely on good and bad characters. Have we moved beyond fairy tale thinking into a era of moral relativism — many interesting narratives spring from a conflict between two characters who are not easily identified as a protagonist and an antagonist.
    16. 16. Theorists to consider• Tvzetan Todorov - suggests narrative is simply equilibrium, disequilibrium, new equilibrium• Vladimir Propp - characters and actions (31 functions of character types)• Claude Levi-Strauss - constant creation of conflict/opposition propels narrative. Narrative can only end on a resolution of conflict. Opposition can be visual (light/darkness, movement/stillness) or conceptual (love/ hate, control/panic), and to do with soundtrack. Binary oppositions.• Also, Roland Barthes & Joseph Campbell
    17. 17. What is Narrative?Tzvetan Todorov:Equilibrium – Disequilibrium - New EquilibriumClaude Levi-Strauss:Binary OppositionsVladimir Propp:Characters and ‘narratemes’
    18. 18. Lesson 2
    19. 19. What’s a ball of string got to do with narrative? “the systems of meaning can take over this absolutely plural text, but their number is never closed” Barthes 1974 A series of 5 codes (threads that you can pull on) that are read and understood by the audience. – Action Code – Enigma Code – Semic Code – Symbolic Code – Cultural Code
    20. 20. BARTHES CODESAction Code: (proairetic code)something the audience knows and doesnt need explaining e.g. someonebeing wheeled out on a stretcher tells us they are going to hospitalEnigma Code: (hermeneutic code)something hidden from the audience (creates intrigue)Semic Code:something that the audience recognize through connotationsSymbolic Code:Something that symbolizes a more abstract concept e.g. a darker than usualroom of a murder scene could symbolize the depth of darkness and depravityCultural Code: (referential code)Something that is read with understanding due to cultural awareness (e.g.youth culture use certain words that are understood by that culture)
    21. 21. Last we thought about Propp’s characters and narratemes and whether this research done on Russian folk tales was still relevant today.This week we are going to focus on, – Todorov – Levis Strauss – Propp (briefly for those who couldn’t be bothered last we)to analyse some texts
    22. 22. TODOROV Todorov describes narrative as going fromequilibrium to disequilibrium back to an altered equilibrium
    23. 23. TODOROVEquilibrium: (sets the scene)Everyday LifeDisruption: (complication)Something happens to alter the equilibriumConflict: (climax)Trying to solve the problem (seek resolution)Resolution:Problem is sortedNew Equilibrium: (satisfactory end)Back to normal (but never the same)- a new normal
    24. 24. Claude Levi-Strauss Binary Oppositions• Constant creation of conflict/opposition propels narrative.• Narrative can only end on a resolution of conflict.• Opposition can be visual (light/darkness, movement/stillness) or conceptual (love/hate, control/panic), and to do with soundtrack.
    25. 25. Levi- Strauss- Binary Oppositions• One side is represented as the ‘right’ side who the audience can identify with and support.i.e. Good & Evil
    26. 26. LEVI-STRAUSSLevi-Strauss describes narrative as created by constant conflict of binary oppositesLove – Hate Black – White Man – NatureLight – Darkness Peace – War Protagonist –AntagonistMovement – Stillness Civilized – Savage Young – OldControl – Panic Strong – Weak Man – WomanWealth – Poverty Mankind – Aliens Humans – TechnologyIgnorance - Wisdom “Sat Wars” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” “Avatar” “District 9” “The Searchers” “Slumdog Millionaire” Can you match them?
    27. 27. Propp - charactersHero: Seeks somethingVillain: Obstructs the heroPrincess: Hero’s rewardFather: Give of rewardsDonor: Provides information and helpHelper: Helps the heroDispatcher: Sends the hero on a questFalse hero: Claims to be the hero• In Propp’s theory, these character types are established to increase understanding from the point of view of the audience
    28. 28. Activity 1• In your pair select one of the film below and apply these three narrative theories:• Spiderman• The Dark Knight• Star Wars• Titanic• Toy Story 3• Shrek
    29. 29. Activity 2• How far can you apply these traditional narrative theories to a music video?• Let’s explore some video examples
    30. 30. Narrative in Music Videos• Narratives are rarely complete often fragmentary• Tend to suggest storylines• Non-linear order (not cause and effect)• Desire to see them again• Narrative often divided between performance and conceptual clips
    31. 31. Key Task• Analyse one of your texts• Explore the extent to which you can apply the traditional narrative theories to the text• Write a 500 word account with specific examples from the text. DEADLINE: Next Friday
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