Aassignment7: Narrative & Film Theory Research! By Gledis Dedaj
Film Narrative Definition?• What is Film Narrative?• Narrative is best described as the art of storytelling.• But when applied to Film it involves a number of conventions such as:• Genre• Character• Form• Time• Film Narrative is the way in which a story is pieced together for the viewing of an audience.• The different narratives for film employ a different message and theme.
Tzvetan Todorov-General information!• He was a French philosopher.• He was a Bulgarian literary theorist.• He came up with the idea of equilibrium.• Claimed all stories had a basic structure based on equilibrium.
Tzvetan Todorov (narrative film theorist: narrative• structure) Tzvetan Todorov put together the theory of the Classic Hollywood narrative. • Todorov believed that a narrative came in three stages:Equilibrium: Disequilibrium: New•Everything begins •This occurs when Equilibrium: with this. something disrupts the •This occurs when the equilibrium . equilibrium is finally •At this point any •The equilibrium is restored.potentially opposingforces are balanced . disrupted by an event, •This comes at the end, setting off a chain of events. when all problems are resolved. •His Theory is the more formal way of looking at the beginning, middle and end of a film. •It takes into account Aristotles theory - All drama is conflict thus there is a disequilibrium at the heart of every narrative.
Films Supporting Tzvetan Todorov’s theory!• Todorov suggested that conventional narratives are structured in five different stages:2. A state of equilibrium and stability – at the start.3. A disruption of the equilibrium by an event or action.4. A recognition that there has been a disruption.5. An attempt to repair the disruption.6. The equilibrium is finally reinstated.• His theory concentrates on the response generated by "fantastic" events that occur in films.• His theory is used in films such as: •The descent •The Hangover •The Burbs
The Decent- Tzvetan Todorov’s theory! Stage : 1 – State of Stage : 2 - Disequilibrium Stage : 3 – New Equilibrium Equilibrium One of the characters kills A year after an accident a Their friend leads them to a some of the demons and group of women go to a cabin different, never before seen cave. manages to escape the cave.for a Cave exploring adventure. They become trapped and However this is just the attempt to discover a route out character’s dream, she wakes the cave. up still in the cave
The Hangover- Tzvetan Todorov’s theory! Stage : 1 – State of Stage : 2 – Disequilibrium Stage : 3 – New Equilibrium Equilibrium They wake up after a heavyGroup of friends go to night of partying and cant The manage to find Vegas together for a remember a thing. They soon their friend and get himbachelor party for their realise that the friend that was to his wedding on time friend who is getting meant to be getting married is without anyonemarried in a couple of missing and they don’t know knowing what days. where he is. happened.
The Burbs- Tzvetan Todorov’s theory! Stage : 1 – State of Stage : 2 – Disequilibrium Stage : 3 – New Equilibrium Equilibrium The character and his friends The main character become suspicious of the new It turns out theirlives in a happy quiet neighbours and become neighbour is not dead butneighbourhood in the convinced that they killed was away in hospital, suburbs. someone on their street so they however the main character start to snoop around and get manages to prove that the caught. new neighbours are murderers and they get arrested.
Claude Levi-Strauss (narrative film theorist: narrative conflict)• General Information:• He was a social Anthropologist.• He studied myths of tribal cultures.• Studied how stories automatically reflect the values, belief and myth of the culture.• He states that in any narrative there is a constant creation of conflict/opposition that pushes the narrative forward.
Claude Levi-Strauss’ approach to Narrative• Strauss saw that we make sense of the world, people and events by seeing and using binary opposition everywhere. He observed that all narratives are organised around the conflict between such binary opposites.Examples of Binary Opposites:•Good Vs. Bad•Protagonist Vs. Antagonist•Black Vs. White•Actions Vs. Inaction•Peace Vs. War•Motivator Vs. Observer•Young Vs. Old•East Vs. West
Films with Binary Oppositions• Superman: Batman:• Good Vs. Bad •Protagonist Vs. Antagonist• Hotel Rwanda:• War Vs. Peace
Vladimir Propp• General Information:• He was a Russian critic and literary theorist• He analysed over 100 Russian fairy- tales in the 1920’s• He says that it is likely to classify the characters and their actions into clearly defined roles and function• He states that all fairytales have common narrative structures and character functions.
Vladimir Propp-Characters• The Hero• The Helper• The Villain• The False Hero• The Donor• The Dispatcher• The Princess• The Princesss Father