Chapter 3Narrative Form1© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
Principles of Narrative Construction• Narrative form tells a story.• While common in fiction films, it can beemployed in o...
What Is Narrative?• A chain of events in cause-effect relationshipoccurring in time and space.• Narratives may also make u...
Plot and Story• Story: all the events in a narrative, bothexplicitly presented and inferred.• Diegesis means elements that...
Cause and Effect• Usually triggered by characters, but could beevents or circumstances.• Viewers look for causal motivatio...
Time• Time shapes our understanding of narrative.• Temporal order refers to the order of storyevents.• Story time is const...
Time• Story duration is the period of time referredto in the film.• Plot duration includes the stretches of timedepicted i...
Space• Story space is where the story takes place.• Screen space is the visible space within theframe.• Space selects cert...
Openings, Closings, and Patterns ofDevelopment• Exposition: the part of the plot that lays outimportant story events and c...
Climaxes and Closings• Climaxes resolve causal issues by bringing thedevelopment to a high point, often involvingtension o...
Range of Story Information• Range refers to how much information theviewer is given.• Restricted: when viewer’s knowledge ...
Depth of Story Information• Depth refers to how deeply the plot plungesthe viewer into the character’s psychologicalstates...
The Narrator• A character (within the story or not) whopurports to be telling the viewer the story.• Can be objective or s...
Narration in The Road Warrior• Max is the center of the plot’s causal chainand the viewer is restricted to Max’s range ofk...
The Classical Hollywood Cinema• Historically, in fiction filmmaking the actioncomes from individual characters as causalag...
Narrative Form in Citizen Kane• Uses conventions of the newspaper,detective, and biography genres.• The film focuses on ps...
Plot and Story in Citizen Kane• Scenes can be broken down into asegmentation that allows for analysis of themajor division...
Citizen Kane’s Causality• Two sets of characters cause events tohappen: the reporters and the people whoknew Kane.• Kane’s...
Time in Citizen Kane• The order of plot events engages the viewerbecause if its complexity.• Earlier parts of the plot sho...
Motivation in Citizen Kane• The narrative revolves around an investigationinto traits of a character, motivated first byth...
Citizen Kane’s Parallelism• Kane’s search for happiness vs. Thompson’ssearch for Rosebud.• Kane’s campaign for governor vs...
Patterns of Plot Development inCitizen Kane• The flashbacks provide a clear progression andeach offers a distinct type of ...
Narration in Citizen Kane• We are really only offered recollections ofKane through five narrators, keeping usrestricted in...
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Bordwell 10e ppt_ch03

  1. 1. Chapter 3Narrative Form1© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Principles of Narrative Construction• Narrative form tells a story.• While common in fiction films, it can beemployed in other types of films.• Narrative construction relies on the viewer topick up cues, anticipate action, and recallinformation.2© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. What Is Narrative?• A chain of events in cause-effect relationshipoccurring in time and space.• Narratives may also make use of parallelism.3© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Plot and Story• Story: all the events in a narrative, bothexplicitly presented and inferred.• Diegesis means elements that are assumed toexist in the film world.• Plot includes nondiegetic elements andeverything visibly and audibly presented, butnot what is presumed or inferred.4© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Cause and Effect• Usually triggered by characters, but could beevents or circumstances.• Viewers look for causal motivation and thiscan create mystery, suspense, or otherreactions.5© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Time• Time shapes our understanding of narrative.• Temporal order refers to the order of storyevents.• Story time is constructed on the basis of whatthe plot presents, even though that might notbe in chronological order.6© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Time• Story duration is the period of time referredto in the film.• Plot duration includes the stretches of timedepicted in the film.• Screen duration is the length of the film.• Temporal frequency is the number of times anelement is presented.7© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Space• Story space is where the story takes place.• Screen space is the visible space within theframe.• Space selects certain parts of plot space andcan ask the viewer to infer or imagine space.8© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Openings, Closings, and Patterns ofDevelopment• Exposition: the part of the plot that lays outimportant story events and character traits inthe opening.• Patterns of Development: Can be motivatedby time and space or by the characters, suchas in a change in knowledge.9© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Climaxes and Closings• Climaxes resolve causal issues by bringing thedevelopment to a high point, often involvingtension or suspense.• Some films are anticlimactic and the endingsremain relatively open.10© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Range of Story Information• Range refers to how much information theviewer is given.• Restricted: when viewer’s knowledge isrestricted to that of a main character.• Unrestricted: when viewers know more andhear more than any of the characters know.• It is a continuum.11© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. Depth of Story Information• Depth refers to how deeply the plot plungesthe viewer into the character’s psychologicalstates.• This is also a continuum that can varybetween objective and subjective points ofview.• The filmmaker’s choice about range and depthaffects the viewer’s response to the film.12© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. The Narrator• A character (within the story or not) whopurports to be telling the viewer the story.• Can be objective or subjective, internal orexternal to the story.13© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Narration in The Road Warrior• Max is the center of the plot’s causal chainand the viewer is restricted to Max’s range ofknowledge.• This is emphasized by use of point-of-viewshots and mental subjectivity.• Moments of unrestricted narration buildsuspense and create surprise.14© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. The Classical Hollywood Cinema• Historically, in fiction filmmaking the actioncomes from individual characters as causalagents.• Time is typically subordinate to cause andeffect.• Often Hollywood narrative is objective andinvolves closure.15© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. Narrative Form in Citizen Kane• Uses conventions of the newspaper,detective, and biography genres.• The film focuses on psychological states andrelationships.• It both adheres to and departs from ClassicalHollywood Cinema norms and rules.16© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Plot and Story in Citizen Kane• Scenes can be broken down into asegmentation that allows for analysis of themajor divisions of the plot as well as causalityand story time.17© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Citizen Kane’s Causality• Two sets of characters cause events tohappen: the reporters and the people whoknew Kane.• Kane’s death creates a connection betweenthem.• Thompson’s goal drives the plot.18© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. Time in Citizen Kane• The order of plot events engages the viewerbecause if its complexity.• Earlier parts of the plot show the results ofevents viewers haven’t seen.• Later parts confirm and modify expectationsviewers formed earlier.• The newsreel parallels the plot structure ofthe film.19© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Motivation in Citizen Kane• The narrative revolves around an investigationinto traits of a character, motivated first bythe search for Rosebud.• Some motivations are left ambiguous.20© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  21. 21. Citizen Kane’s Parallelism• Kane’s search for happiness vs. Thompson’ssearch for Rosebud.• Kane’s campaign for governor vs. Susan’sopera career.21© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Patterns of Plot Development inCitizen Kane• The flashbacks provide a clear progression andeach offers a distinct type of informationabout Kane.• The plot remains relatively open in the end:neither Kane nor Thompson reach their goal.• Is Rosebud a resolution?22© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  23. 23. Narration in Citizen Kane• We are really only offered recollections ofKane through five narrators, keeping usrestricted in our knowledge.• Thompson is the conduit for the information.He is neutral and barely characterized.• The narrative is omniscient overall.23© 2013 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
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