Session 4 film narration: Film Appreciation Course
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  • 1. Narration in FilmsNarration in Films Film Principles Bong S. Eliab Ateneo de Davao University
  • 2. Narration  Plot: distribution of story information to the viewer.  At any point in a given narrative, we can ask ourselves how much we know (as viewers) in relation to the characters on screen.  This relationship can be represented as a hierarchy of knowledge and there are a few important terms we use to express these relationships. Swimming Pool
  • 3. Range of Narration 1. Unrestricted Narration 2. Restricted Narration Francois Ozon’s Swimming Pool
  • 4. Unrestricted Narration  When the viewer knows more than any or all of the characters.  Highly unrestricted narration is called omniscient. Swimming Pool
  • 5. Restricted Narration  When the viewer knows only as much as a single character (usually the protagonist).  Example: Malena, The Road HomeMalena
  • 6. Depth of Narration 1. Objective Narration 2. Perceptual Subjectivity Narration 3. Mental Subjectivity Narration Swimming Pool
  • 7. Objective Narration  Viewer’s knowledge is restricted to the external behavior of the characters.  Highly objective narration (in certain forms of documentary, or in the films of Jim Jarmusch, for example) is known as "fly-on-the-wall." Lawrence of Arabia
  • 8. Perceptual Subjectivity Narration  Viewer has access to the visual and aural perspective of the character through the "point-of-view (POV) shot. Dreamers Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
  • 9. Mental Subjectivity Narration The viewer is plunged into the character’s mind and consciousness Viewer has access to inner- thoughts (through voice-over narration), dreams, fantasies, visions. Use of flashback scenes Swimming Pool Ludivine Sagnier with Director Francois Ozon
  • 10. Motif  Any significant, repeated in a film  Visual or aural motif  Plays significant role in the narrative or stylistic system Note the hairclip on The Road Home
  • 11. Motif  Common visual motif  Aural motif: recurring melody, a line of dialogue  Others: a distinctive camera movement, a prop, a lighting technique, or an abstract theme of idea
  • 12. Motif  Common visual motif  Aural motif: recurring melody, a line of dialogue  Others: a distinctive camera movement, a prop, a lighting technique, or an abstract theme of idea
  • 13. Motif serves important functions  Unity: helps unify film by establishing central issues and images to which the film returns again and again.  Allows viewers recall previous moments in the film when that image or idea appeared  Allows filmmaker to help audience identify narrative patterns, connections between characters, events and ideas
  • 14. Motif serves important functions  Aesthetic Coherence: provides coherence to film’s visual style (its look and texture)  Suggests thematic meanings Julio Medem used high key exposures (increased brightness) for Sex and Lucia