Izrael Film Appreciation Lecture # 2: Narrative


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Izrael Film Appreciation Lecture # 2: Narrative

  1. 1. Chapter 2: Narrative
  2. 2. Form and ContentContent: the subject of an artworkForm: The means by which the subject isexpressed
  3. 3. Persistence of Vision• The process by which the human brain retains an image by which the human brain retains an image for a fraction of second longer than the eye records it
  4. 4. Phi Phenomenon• The illusion of movement created by events that succeed each other rapidly, as when adjacent lights flash on and off alternately and we seem to see a single light shifting back and forth.
  5. 5. Critical Flicker Fusion• Occurs when a single light flickers on and off with such speed that the individual pulses of light fuse together to give the illusion of continuous light.
  6. 6. Scene• A complete unit of plot action incorporating one or more shots in a certain
  7. 7. Sequence• A series of scenes.
  8. 8. Realism• An interest in or concern for the actual or real, a tendency to represent things as they really are….
  9. 9. Antirealism• An interest in or concern for the abstract, speculative or fantastic
  10. 10. Cinematic Language• Accepted systems, methods or conventions by which movies communicate to the viewer
  11. 11. What is the ‘text of a film?”• The ‘text’ of the film is the application of your understanding of cinematic language
  12. 12. Verisimilitude• A convincing appearance of truth
  13. 13. DramaThis is also the anatomy of a scene: the protagonist is introuble, he/she must figure a way out of it, they find a solution, failor the problem is irrelevant to the story.Drama is conflict, and the most important element of conflict ischange. A story is not just about people living their lives. Thatwould be boring. There has to be something pulling, tugging awayat the status quo.There is drama in everyones life, and in just about every situation.In a film, it starts with a one (or two) person(s) with one centralproblem, and every scene and every act is made up of little changesthat prevent the problem from being solved. The action can’tremain static. This is drama.
  14. 14. All good stories have a problem that needs asolution. Most often the protagonist tells uswhat the problem is in one way or anotherand other players either help them solve it orget in the way. Scenes make for good drama.Drama is conflict. Good drama makes for goodcinema. It keeps us watching and waiting forthe ending. Predictable endings bore us.Tangential dialog is entertaining but leavessomething to be desired. Satisfying solutionswith a twist keep us coming back for more.Those are the movies that become classics.
  15. 15. When you look at film and seek to offer a critique, you do so based on a set of subjective criterion. How do you judge films? There is personal preference and evaluative judgement.• Personal preference is what it sounds like—the kind of film you go to see.• Evaluative judgment looks at a film on the merits of its form, and doesn’t make a qualitative statement based on attitudes about the work or genre.
  16. 16. Types of criterion• Moral: What message is there in the film, if any?• Realistic: Is it believeable, in context?• Coherence: Does the plot stick together?• Intensity: Does it build to a meangful, satisfying climax• Complexity: Does this movie have twist and turns? Does it have too many?• Orginality: Is the storyline fresh?
  17. 17. Two different kinds of evaluation: Form and Function• Are all the part of the film –the cinematography, the acting, the script, the light—forming a good movie?• Do they all function well on their own merit?• e.g. is the script good• are the actors pulling their lines well• is the lighting appropriate• Are the scenes blocked out well?
  18. 18. The Wizardy of the Three Acts Although there are many divergent theories about the construct of drama, Aristotle’s Poetics is the best guide for dramatic story telling. Aristotle writes that every drama, like life, has as beginning, middle and end. We call this the Three Act Structure.• ACT I: Something happens, called an inciting incident• ACT II: A solution is sought• ACT III: there is a resolve, it is unresolved or deemed irrelevant. One of the best films to illustrate the Three Act Structure is The Wizard of Oz. Oz is based on a screenplay written by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson and adapted from the children’s novel by author L. Frank Baum. So lets break down this film intro three acts.
  19. 19. Wizard of Oz-ACT IA young Dorothy Gale decides to run awayfrom her boring Kansas farm life in search ofsomething better. Before she can, she’s caughtup in a tornado. She lands in Munchkin landand takes out a witch. She becomes areluctant hero and possible target of revengeby another witch.
  20. 20. Wizard of Oz –ACT 2Dorothy decides she needs to get home, but isinformed that no one can help her but theWizard. So she must go find The Wizard. While onthe way there, she meets three compatriots andencounters various obstacles thrown her way bythe witch. At one point, her compatriots aredisabled, her dog is taken away, and she hasnothing left. She meets with the Wizard who willdo her a favor if she completes an impossibletask. Dorothy completes the task with the help offriends and returns to collect her favor
  21. 21. Wizard of Oz – ACT 3Dorothy finds out the Wizard is a fake and shemay never get back home, and that none of herfriends will get what they need either. The Wizardprovides the friends with tokens that emboldenthem and remind them of tasks they completedthat required many of the qualities they thoughtthey needed. A “good witch” then appears andtells Dorothy that theing she needed was alwaysinside her all along: that she only need believe.Dorothy wakes up in the home she left happy tobe around the ones she loves, happy with hersimple way of life.
  22. 22. CLASS ASSIGNMENT #1 – THREE ACT BREAKDOWNPlease find your assignment under the“HOMEWORK” button, in the “WritingAssignement” folder.