Media Studies Narrative Theory Revision for Music Video and Fiction Texts Year 13 A-Level Revision
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Media Studies Narrative Theory Revision for Music Video and Fiction Texts Year 13 A-Level Revision

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Media Studies Narrative Theory Revision for Music Video and Fiction Texts Year 13 A-Level Revision Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Narrative
  • 2. Narrative • What is narrative theory? • Music video theories • applying these theories to videos • other narrative theories • applying them to existing products • applying them to your own products
  • 3. what is narrative? • Narrative is the media term for story telling. ! • It is the way that different elements come together to make a meaningful story.
  • 4. what is narrative structure? • Narrative structure is the way the story is told or happens. ! • An open structure is one that means that it has no final ending; the story is left open. • What examples of these can you think of?
  • 5. what is narrative structure? • Narrative structure is the way the story is told or happens. ! • A closed structure is one that means that the story is concluded, usually satisfactorily.
  • 6. what is narrative structure? • Narrative structure is the way the story is told or happens. ! • An interactive structure is one that means that the story is not fixed and will change depending on different factors. ! What examples can you think of?
  • 7. YOUR NARRATIVE STRUCTURES • You can discuss the narrative structures and theories of your own products in various ways, but make sure it’s relevant. • For example, if your music video does not feature a narrative, you cannot apply an open, closed or interactive structure to it. • Make sure you know what narrative structure or theory is applicable to your products before you go into the exam. ! DO THIS NOW! Which of your products feature an open, closed or interactive narrative structure?
  • 8. music video narrative theory •Andrew Goodwin stated that there were three different ways in which the music video can connect back to the song itself •These are: ! Illustration Amplification Disjuncture
  • 9. music video narrative theory - Illustration Illustration is the simplest and easiest concept to base a music video around as it is just a literal meaning to the song’s lyrics in visual form. This can be seen in the actions of the people in the video ‘acting out’ what has been sung, or the actual lyrics being used on screen. These are often ‘performance’ videos. ! What examples can you think of?
  • 10. music video narrative theory - Amplification Amplification is second. These type of music videos may use both performance and narrative, with connotations of the meanings. These are designed to be a creative and artistic endeavour that seeks to create a form of story or artistic statement, informed by the lyrics or meaning from the song. For this reason, amplification videos often have elements of performance or illustrative elements in them. ! What examples can you think of?
  • 11. music video narrative theory - Disjuncture Disjuncture is the final type. These videos intentionally ignore the content of the song and genre of the music and tries to create a whole new set of meanings. These music videos don't tend to make a lot of sense and can often use abstract imagery. This is a radical technique used and applied by arty bands in order to assert their difference and originality. They usually contain performance from the artist/s, but have no recognisable link to the lyrics. ! What examples can you think of?
  • 12. YOUR NARRATIVE STRUCTURES • You can discuss the narrative structures and theories of your own products in various ways, but make sure it’s relevant. • For example, your music video should broadly adhere to Goodwin’s theory of music videos. • Make sure you know what narrative type of Goodwin’s theory is applicable to your products before you go into the exam. ! DO THIS NOW! Your music video is what kind of music video? Illustrative, amplification or disjuncture?
  • 13. Task: • find 2 examples for each of goodwin’s music video types. • for each, explain what type of video it is and why it is that type.
  • 14. Task 2: • what type of music video is your video? ! • using a 9-still box, explain how your video fits one of the 3 types.
  • 15. Basic narrative theory • narrative structure can be split into 3 simplified categories. these are: ! Linear circular episodic
  • 16. Basic narrative theory - Linear • A linear narrative is one that follows a ‘line’, it starts at the beginning and finishes at the end. Start of story Story End of story
  • 17. Basic narrative theory - Linear • A linear narrative is one that follows a ‘line’, it starts at the beginning and finishes at the end. Start of story Story End of story • What examples of linear narrative structures can you think of in film?
  • 18. Basic narrative theory - episodic • An episodic narrative is one that follows a ‘line’, and starts at the beginning and finishes at the end, but is broken up into smaller episodes or sections. These are usually clearly marked. Start of story Story End of story
  • 19. Basic narrative theory - episodic • What examples of episodic narrative can you think of in film? Start of story Story End of story
  • 20. Basic narrative theory - circular • A circular narrative is one that follows a ‘circle’; the story finishes where it started. Start of story Story End of story Story Story
  • 21. Basic narrative theory - circular Start of story Story End of story Story Story • You can have some element of these narrative styles being mixed however. For example, you could have an episodic, circular narrative.
  • 22. Basic narrative theory • your as studies project is a small section of a film, so does not easily ‘fit’ one of the narrative structures. • However, your section should be ‘part ‘ of a bigger film. • With this in mind, you should know both where your section would fit within this larger project and also, because of this, what narrative structure your larger film would be. • therefore, you should be able to explain what narrative structure the overall film would be and why.
  • 23. YOUR NARRATIVE STRUCTURES • You can discuss the narrative structures and theories of your own products in various ways, but make sure it’s relevant. • For example, you must know what narrative structure is the most suitable for both products. • Make sure you know what narrative structure or theory is applicable to your products before you go into the exam. ! DO THIS NOW! Which of your products feature a linear, circular or episodic narrative structure?
  • 24. classic narrative theories • todorov • Propp • Barthes • Levi-strauss
  • 25. classic narrative theories Narrative Structure Visual texts adopt different ways of constructing stories, called narrative structures and these fall into five main categories:
  • 26. classic narrative theories 1. Open / Closed narratives • Stories that are part of a series are open narratives (eg Soaps). • Stories with endings are closed narratives (eg Documentaries). ! 2. Single / Multi-strand narratives • Stories developing same plot are single strand narratives (eg Many dramas). • Stories with more than one plot line are multi-strand narratives (eg Soaps).
  • 27. classic narrative theories 3. Linear / Non-linear narratives •Stories following chronological order are linear narratives (eg Soaps). •Stories jumping around in time are non-linear narratives (eg Many who- dunnits). ! 4. Investigative narratives •Stories involving investigations of some kind are investigative narratives (eg Who-dunnits, Documentaries). ! 5. Realist & anti-realist narratives •Stories featuring real life situations are realist narratives (eg Soaps, The News). •Stories that do not feature real life situations are anti-realist (eg Cartoons).
  • 28. classic narrative theories REVISION: Make sure that you can clearly, easily and quickly define what narrative type your product/s are. THEN, you can begin to bring in a narrative theory to IF relevant.
  • 29. classic narrative theories • todorov • Propp • Barthes • Levi-strauss
  • 30. TZVETAN TODOROV • Todorov proposed that narrative structure has 5 main stages. • However, these can be summarised as 3 key points:
  • 31. TZVETAN TODOROV • Beginning: A state of equilibrium • Middle: Disruption to the equilibrium • End: Reinstating of the equilibrium
  • 32. TZVETAN TODOROV Stage 1
 A state of equilibrium is defined. Stage 2
 Disruption to the equilibrium by some action or crisis. Stage 3
 The Character(s) recognition that there has been a disruption, setting goals to resolve problem.
  • 33. TZVETAN TODOROV Stage 4
 The Character(s) attempt to repair the disruption, obstacles need to be overcome to restore order. Stage 5
 Reinstatment to the equilibrium. Situation is resolved, a conclusion is announced.
  • 34. TZVETAN TODOROV
  • 35. TZVETAN TODOROV Can you add an example of a film that suits Todorov’s narrative structure? ! Hint: Make sure it’s a fairly standard Hollywood film in order to really see the accuracy of the theory.
  • 36. vladimir propp During the 1920s, Russian analyst Vladimir Propp discovered that a story’s format was key to its success. Basing his studies on traditional Russian fairy tales, he argued that a successful story had 6 stages of narrative action:
  • 37. vladimir propp 1.Preparation (the scene is set) 2.Complication (a problem / evil occurs) 3.Transference (hero gets help and leaves on quest) 4.Struggle (there is a fight between hero and some kind of villain) 5.Return (the hero returns, his quest fulfilled) 6.Recognition (villains punished, hero rewarded)
  • 38. vladimir propp • Propp also discovered that Russian fairytales often involved much the same stock characters. • These are also known as the Seven Spheres of Action.
  • 39. vladimir propp Hero: Individual(s) who’s quest is to restore the equilibrium.
 Villain: Individual(s) who’s task is to disrupt the equilibrium.
 Donor: Individual(s) who gives the hero(s) something, advice, information or an object.
 Helper: Individual(s) who aids the hero(s) with their set task.
 Princess (Prince): Individual(s) which needs help, protecting and saving.
 Dispatcher: Individual(s) who send the hero(s) on their quest.
 False Hero: Individual(s) who set out to undermine the hero’s quest by pretending to aid them, often unmasked at the end of the film. SevenSpheresofAction
  • 40. vladimir propp REVISION • Using the Seven Spheres of Action, can you attribute a character to each from a film that already exists? • Make sure you use a film you know really well that has lots of characters in. • Or just use Star Wars, like everyone does.
  • 41. vladimir propp REVISION • For either of your two products (but probably the film extract), try to ‘fit’ the 6 stages of action around it. You may need to consider that your extract was just the start of the narrative, so may need to extent this to what your film could have done. • Using the Seven Spheres of Action, can you attribute a character to each from a film that already exists?
  • 42. roland barthes Roland Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic and semiotician (study of cultural signs and symbols). He suggested that media texts with a narrative were essentially forms of storytelling (à la Propp).
  • 43. roland barthes • Barthes proposed the Open and Closed narrative structure (Interactive came much later and not from him, incidentally). ! • Barthes said that all narratives share similar structures but are moulded in different ways. !
  • 44. roland barthes • He believed that a text was essentially a tangled ball of threads that needs to be unravelled. ! • Once unravelled, it is obvious that we can begin to look at a text at any angle we choose. ! • We start to look at a text in one specific way, from one viewpoint and because of this, one meaning for a text. ! • But this can be repeated several times. By continuing to unravel texts, different meanings appear.
  • 45. roland barthes Barthes suggested that meaning is made in fiction by the use of Five Codesc. They can be woven into any text and they are integral to interpreting them to create different meanings: ! The Hermeneutic/Enigma Code (HER) The Action/Proairetic Code (ACT) The Semantic Code (SEM) The Symbolic Code (SYM) The Referential/Cultural Code (REF)
  • 46. roland barthes The Hermeneutic/Enigma code (HER): ! ‘The enigma code’: things within the text that make the audience ask themselves questions about what will happen. The answers to the questions can be found by consuming the text. For example, will Charlie Bucket find a golden ticket?
  • 47. roland barthes The Action/Proairetic Code (ACT): ! ‘The events and actions code’: each action and event within a text can be linked to nameable sequences operating in the narrative. Barthes asserts that each effect could be ‘named’ giving a series of titles to the text. These are often made very explicit on the DVD casing – the chapter titles are generally based on events or actions.
  • 48. roland barthes The Symbolic Code (SYM): ! Is the process of representing an object, idea or feeling by something else. For example, a fence between two characters may symbolise their emotional distance. Some have suggested that the infamous ‘adrenaline shot’ in Pulp Fiction is the symbolic penetration of Mia by Vince.
  • 49. roland barthes The Semantic Code (SEM): ! This code refers to the use of connotation to give the audience an insight into characters, objects or events. For example, conventional car advertisements feature the car in an open, green landscape. The connotations created by the setting are of freedom and escape.
  • 50. roland barthes The Referential/Cultural Code (REF): ! ‘The cultural code’ concerns all the culturally specific knowledge used to make meaning in a text. For example, the Coronation Street title sequence features stereotypically ‘northern’ streets and houses, connoting traditional communities and family values. The audience must be familiar with such northern typification to associate particular meanings with the text.
  • 51. roland barthes REVISION: !CODE TEXT EXPLANATION HER ACT SYM SEM REF
  • 52. roland barthes REVISION: !CODE FILM OR MUSIC VIDEO EXPLANATION HER ACT SYM SEM REF
  • 53. claude levi-strauss Claude Levi-Strauss is most noted for his theory of Binary Oppositions. He observed that all narratives are organised around the conflict between the oppositions. ! He used the Western genre to identify and provide a clear example of how this works:
  • 54. claude levi-strauss Homesteaders - Native Americans Christian - Pagan Domsetic - Savage Weak - Strong Garden - Wilderness Inside society - Outside society
  • 55. claude levi-strauss This applies to other genres of course: Sci$Fi& Good$ Bad$ Humans$ Aliens$ Earth$ Space$ Past$ Present$ Normal$ Strange$ Known$ Unknown$$
  • 56. claude levi-strauss REVISION In either of your products, can you identify a range of binary oppositions? ! For your AS work, could you expand upon how there could be binary oppositions between what you created for your introduction and what would be happening later in the film, for example?