• Bulgarian literary theorist
• Suggests most narratives start with a state of
equilibrium in which life is ‘normal’ and
• This state of normality is disrupted by an
outside force, which has to be fought against
in order to return to a state of equilibrium.
• This model can easily be applied to a wide
range of films.
Recognition of disruption>
Attempt to repair disruption >
• Social Anthropologist.
• Studied myths of tribal cultures.
• Examined how stories unconsciously reflect
the values, beliefs and myths of a culture.
• These are usually expressed in the form of
• His research has been adapted by media
theorists to reveal underlying themes and
symbolic oppositions in media texts.
• A conflict between two qualities or terms.
• For example 1970’s Western films:
Homesteaders Native Americans
inside society outside society
• French semiologist.
• Suggested that narrative works with five
different codes which activate the
reader to make sense of it.
(also used the terms denotation and
connotation to analyse images)
• Action – a narrative device by which a resolution is
produced through action, e.g. a shoot-out.
• Enigma – a narrative device that teases the audience
by presenting a puzzle or riddle to be solved. Works to
delay the story’s ending pleasurably.
• Symbolic – (connotation)
• Semic – (denotation)
• Cultural – a narrative device which the audience can
recognise as being part of a culture e.g. a “made man” in
a gangster film is part of the mafia culture.
Film trailers often use enigma
The film maker carefully
chooses what footage they
will show you from the film
without giving away the
You are left wanting to know
the answer to these enigmas.
What questions (or
enigmas) are created
in this trailer?
In pairs rearrange the film
synopsis into an appropriate
There isn’t a correct order!
Question: Do narratives have to be
constructed in chronological order?
Although most TV dramas and films are edited into
the order that things happen, it does not have to be
done this way!
What is this called?
When a narrative is constructed in the order of
events it is called LINEAR
When a narrative is constructed out of order (it
may go back and forward in time or have flash
backs) this is called NON-LINEAR
Make a note of this in your books
How does the editing of this
film trailer create an enigma
What is the effect of the storytelling
sequence chosen in this short film?
a. A relatively rapid succession of different shots in
b. a segment of film that summarizes a topic or
compresses a passage of time into brief symbolic or
typical image. Frequently, dissolves, fades,
superimpositions, and wipes are used to link the
images in a montage sequence.
• Flash forward
• POV (restricted view, (Vantage point
• Use of a narrator
• Parallel narrative