Aims:To be familiar with narrativetheories and character types
A RECIPE FOR ACTION ADVENTURE• Chase scene(s) – on foot or in • Easy to follow narratives vehicles (Todorov)• CGI/pyrotechnics (special • Hero usually on a Quest visual effects) • Heavily reliant on binary• Fight scenes oppositions (Good vs Evil,• Characters: Hero/villain/love Right vs Wrong, Hero vs interest for hero/sidekick for Villain) hero (usually loveable/funny) • Snappy dialogue & catch (Propp) phrases• Stereotypical gender • ‘Ticking clock’ scenario – time representations – men are limitations which create ‘butch’, women are ‘eye tension candy’ (Mulvey/ male gaze)• Stunts & Daring saves at the last minute
NARRATIVE• Fictional stories follow a certain pattern of narrative structure. Tveztzan Todorov came up with a theory for this• The basic structure for any story is to have a• Beginning• Middle• End• Todorovs theory goes like this...
NARRATIVE• EQUILIBRIUM• The original ‘equilibrium’. This is how the place and characters appear at the beginning of the story• DISEQUILIBRIUM• Something happens to disrupt this order—’an agent of change’. This could be a villain, war or natural event. There is a DISRUPTION therefore to the equilibrium and this has to be RESOLVED. (Usually by the hero’)• NEW EQUILIBRIUM/RESTORATION• A new equilibrium is established. Usually the disruption is sorted out and the narrative is completed or closed
CHARACTERS• Vladimir Propp came up with the theory that there are only a certain number of characters who crop up in most narratives. It is easy to spot the hero and villain in most cases but there are others
HERO VILLAIN Leads narrative, is usually looking Conflicts with the hero for something (a quest) or trying to solve some thing (a mystery). Does not have to be male WISE PERSON (DONOR) Gives the hero something - a clue/ special power - which helps them PRINCESS complete their questIs usually some sort of prize or rewardfor the hero. If the hero is female then the princess can be male FATHER (DISPATCHER) An authority figure who offers a reward to the hero for completing BLOCKER their quest. That reward might be The false hero who tries to stop a prince, princess or a cool new the hero completing their job task/quest HELPER Helps the hero - often acts as a sidekick
NARRATIVE & CHARACTERS• Pick a well-known fairy tale from the list: – Snow White – Sleeping Beauty – Jack and the Beanstalk – Cinderella• Apply Todorov’s narrative theory: – Equilibrium – Disruption – Restoration• Apply Propp’s character types and comment on their traits.
NARRATIVE & CHARACTERS• Click the poster to view the trailer for Spiderman 2• Commenting on the narrative structure of the clip – apply Todorov’s theory.• Commenting on the different character types that you can see. Are they stereotypes? Apply Propp’s theory.• Are these conventional of the genre?
EQUILIBRIUM Peter Parker is Spiderman doing A SENSE OF his superhero job. He has a secret identity - MJ doesnt know NORMALITY DISEQUILIBRIUM DISRUPTION Dr Otto Octavius with the help of Harry Osborn creates a machine which blows up and reincarnates him as a villain Peter doesnt want to be SpidermanRESTORED ORDER anymore because its preventing him from being with MJRESOLUTION & NEW EQUILIBRIUM Peter is Spiderman again defeats the villain, saves the heroine MJ knows Peter is Spiderman