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As narrative theory

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    • 1. Narrative Theory Learning objective: To investigate and discuss different narrative theory’s To apply narrative theory to TV Drama
    • 2. Storytelling/ narrative structure
      • Way in which the narrative of a film is constructed.
      • Narrative is defined as “a chain of events in a cause-effect relationship occurring in
      • time” (Bordwell & Thompson, Film Art, 1980).
    • 3. List the characters in Cinderella
    • 4. In your group...
      • Read through your Narrative theory together and make notes.
      • Can you find any examples from film/TV/fairy tales to support this narrative theory?
      • Nominate a spokesperson from each group to explain the theory.
    • 5. Vladimir Propp
      • Russian critic and literary theorist.
      • Analysed over 100 Russian fairytales in the 1920s.
      • He proposed that it was possible to classify the characters and their actions into clearly defined roles and functions.
      • Films such as Star Wars fit Propp’s model precisely, but a a significant number of more recent films such as Pulp Fiction do not.
    • 6. Propp’s Character Roles
      • The hero (seeks something)
      • The villain (opposes the hero)
      • The donor (helps the hero by providing a magic object)
      • The dispatcher (sends the hero on his way)
      • The false hero (falsely assuming the role of hero)
      • The helper (gives support to the hero)
      • The princess (the reward for the hero, but also needs protection from the villain)
      • Her father
    • 7. Tzvetan Todorov
      • Bulgarian literary theorist
      • Suggests most narratives start with a state of equilibrium in which life is ‘normal’ and the protagonist is happy.
      • 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.
    • 8. Equilibrium > Disruption > Recognition of disruption> Attempt to repair disruption > New Equilibrium. Write a short synopsis for a film using Todorovs Equilibrium theory. You can use the example of ‘Toy Story’ or create your own
    • 9. Claude Levi-Strauss
      • 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 binary oppositions .
      • His research has been adapted by media theorists to reveal underlying themes and symbolic oppositions in media texts.
    • 10. Examples of opposition...
      • Black....
      • Good...
      • Male...
      • Young...
      • Poor...
      • Old...
      • Can you think of any other examples?
      What binary opposition was evident in ‘Teachers’?
    • 11. Binary Oppositions
      • A conflict between two qualities or terms.
      • For example 1970’s Western films:
      • Homesteaders Native Americans
      • christian pagan
      • domestic savage
      • weak strong
      • garden wilderness
      • inside society outside society
    • 12. Roland Barthes
      • 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)
    • 13. Barthes’ Codes
      • 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.
      • Can you think of any films or TV drama that use an enigma code?
    • 14. This trailer uses enigma codes to make the audience intrigued about the film.
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXO0he1WjYw
      • What techniques are employed to create an enigma code?
      • Look at:
      • Editing
      • Performance
      • Mise en scene
      • Sound
      • Lighting
    • 15.
      • Which drama sub-genre commonly use enigma codes?
    • 16. Other narratives...
      • Flashback
      • Flash forward
      • Linear (in sequential order e.g a drama might start at breakfast and continue to develop in order of time)
      • Non-linear (out of sequence eg a drama might start at night, then show an event that happened hours before)
      • This helps to create an enigma code
    • 17. HW: due Monday 7 th November on your blog
      • Watch the first episode of Lost (series 1, episode1) and write a detailed answer for each question (500 words)
      • What narrative structure/s are evident in the first episode of Lost? What effect does this have on the audience?
      • Discuss the sound techniques used in the first episode of Lost. What effect do they have on the audience?
      • How is realism constructed in this episode of Lost?
      • How does Lost fit the conventions of a TV drama?
    • 18.
      • Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoGebTIYjPg
      • Part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds9q-S6eCfs&feature=related
      • Part 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqhSvZhPlEE&feature=related
      • Part 4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkWLSgt0bqU&feature=related