Exam 1 b narrative

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Exam 1 b narrative

  1. 1. Learning Objectives: <ul><li>Learn a variety of theories on narrative. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand how to answer question 1b on narrative . </li></ul><ul><li>Decide which of your productions you would write about for a question on narrative. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Noam Chomsky <ul><li>“ Narrative is fundamental to human understanding.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Plot vs Narrative <ul><li>The plot of a film is everything that happens to the characters in chronological order. </li></ul><ul><li>The narrative of a film is the coherence or organisation given to a sequence of events. </li></ul><ul><li>It is up to the audience to decode the narrative and work out what the plot is. </li></ul>
  4. 4. For example, in Titanic… <ul><li>The plot begins when several characters board an ocean liner </li></ul><ul><li>The narrative shows one of the characters as an old woman who then relays her story of the ocean liner. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Storytime vs Screen Time <ul><li>The story time is the length of the entire story whereas the screen time is the length of the film. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually the story time is longer than the screen time. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes the story and screen times are the same (eg 24 (arguably!)) </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of a possible way that the screen time could be longer than the story time? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Time Manipulation <ul><li>Summary (e.g time compression) </li></ul><ul><li>Ellipsis (cutting out intervening time) </li></ul><ul><li>Flashbacks </li></ul><ul><li>Dream Sequences </li></ul><ul><li>Repetition </li></ul><ul><li>Different characters POV </li></ul><ul><li>Flash Forwards </li></ul>
  7. 7. Location Manipulation <ul><li>Establishing shots </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New York skyline </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creative Geography </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate shots of different locations – audience assumes they must be related. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Location conventions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often associated with genre and form – spaceships. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Todorov’s a pproach to n arrative <ul><li>There are five stages a narrative has to pass t hrough: </li></ul><ul><li>The state of equilibrium (state of normality – good, bad or neutral) . </li></ul><ul><li>A n event disrupts the equil i brium (a character or an action) . </li></ul><ul><li>The main protagonist recognises that the equilibrium has been disrupted. </li></ul><ul><li>Protagonist attempts to rectify this in order to restore equilibrium . </li></ul><ul><li>Equilibrium is restored but, because causal transformations have occurred, there are differences (good, bad, or neutral) from original equilibrium, which establish it as a new equilibrium . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Propp’s approach to narrative <ul><li>Vladimir Propp studied hundreds of Russian folk and fairytales before deciding that all narratives have a common structure. </li></ul><ul><li>He observed that narratives are shaped and directed by certain types of characters and specific kinds of actions </li></ul><ul><li>He believed that there are 31 possible stages or functions in any narrative </li></ul><ul><li>These may not all appear in a single story, but nevertheless always appear in the same sequence. </li></ul><ul><li>A function is a plot motif or event in the story. </li></ul><ul><li>A tale may skip functions but it cannot shuffle their unvarying order. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Propp’s approach to narrative <ul><li>Villain  struggles with hero </li></ul><ul><li>Donor  prepares and/or provides hero with magical agent </li></ul><ul><li>Helper  assists, rescues, solves and/or transfigures the hero </li></ul><ul><li>Princess  a sought-for person (and/or her father) who exists as goal and often recognises and marries hero and/or punishes villain </li></ul><ul><li>Dispatcher  sends hero off </li></ul><ul><li>Hero  departs on a search (seeker-hero), reacts to donor and weds at end </li></ul><ul><li>False Hero  claims to be the hero, often seeking and reacting like a real hero </li></ul>Propp believed that there are seven roles which any character may assume in the story:
  11. 11. Claude Levi-Strauss’s approach to narrative <ul><li>After studying hundreds of myths and legends from around the world, Levi-Strauss observed that we make sense of the world, people and events by seeing and using binary opposites everywhere. </li></ul><ul><li>He observed that all narratives are organised around the conflict between such binary opposites. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Examples of binary opposites <ul><li>Good vs evil </li></ul><ul><li>Black vs white </li></ul><ul><li>Boy vs girl </li></ul><ul><li>Peace vs war </li></ul><ul><li>Civilised vs savage </li></ul><ul><li>Democracy vs dictatorship </li></ul><ul><li>Conqueror vs conquered </li></ul><ul><li>First world vs third world </li></ul><ul><li>Domestic vs foreign/alien </li></ul><ul><li>Articulate vs inarticulate </li></ul><ul><li>Young vs old </li></ul><ul><li>Man vs nature </li></ul><ul><li>Protagonist vs antagonist </li></ul><ul><li>Action vs inaction </li></ul><ul><li>Motivator vs observer </li></ul><ul><li>Empowered vs victim </li></ul><ul><li>Man vs woman </li></ul><ul><li>Good-looking vs ugly </li></ul><ul><li>Strong vs weak </li></ul><ul><li>Decisive vs indecisive </li></ul><ul><li>East vs west </li></ul><ul><li>Humanity vs technology </li></ul><ul><li>Ignorance vs wisdom </li></ul>
  13. 13. Roland Barthes Codes <ul><li>Action codes – symbolic/iconographic images that communicate events from the narrative, e.g. characters brushing hands to retrieve spilled papers suggest that they are falling in love </li></ul><ul><li>Enigma codes – questions raised by a narrative that the audience yearn to answer </li></ul>
  14. 14. Narrative <ul><li>How useful is the concept of narrative in understanding your work? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the narrative structure of your work? </li></ul><ul><li>How have narrative techniques been used to appeal to the audience? </li></ul><ul><li>How have you used characters in your work? Is Propp useful to understanding your production? </li></ul><ul><li>What other narrative conventions can you consider? Does your work support or subvert them? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the narrative shape the meaning of your production? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Sample Question “ Media texts rely on cultural experiences in order for audiences to easily make sense of narratives”. Explain how you used conventional and / or experimental narrative approaches in one of your production pieces.

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