Starter Task• Complete your ‘Narrative’ handout• Step 1 – Identify the Five stages of Todorov’s narrative theory• Step 2 – Apply the theory to La Haine and note down the scenes / action from the film in which the five stages are present• Step 3 – Feedback your answers to the class and make notes
Starter Task Riots are on-going. Equilibrium A young Arab man has been shot by Police. Disruption of Vinz finds a Police officers gun and hides it Equilibrium Hubert identifies the immediate problem posed by Recognition of the gun disruption The trio return to the Suburb’s to dispose of theAttempt to repair gun At least one young man from an immigrantReinstatement of background has been shot by Police. Equilibrium
Learning Objectives• Identify the different Narrative Devices employed by La Haine• Discuss and Analyse how Power, Poverty and Conflict are represented throughout the film• Analyse a series of key scenes and answer an short exam style question about La Haine’s narrative structure and its links to contextual issues
Narrative Device?• What is a narrative device?• A tool that a director / filmmaker can use to progress the narrative of film• The action or item that provides the next ‘piece in the puzzle’• Example include – Binary Oppositions – Enigma Codes – Action Codes – Flashbacks to provide background information and contextualise a film
Narrative Structure• Upon release Mathieu Kassovitz put forward the notion that “(my) film was ‘unstructured’ – a series of disconnected scenes in a film in which ‘nothing happens’”• He claimed that each scene constitutes a short film in itself, focusing upon unique aspects of Baneliue life.• Kassovitz is essentially saying the film has no structure. Do you agree with this statement? Close scrutiny of the film reveals a minutely constructed and classically coherent film
Narrative Structure• La Haine is structured around a geographical and temporal dichotomy between daytime in the Ghetto and the night time Paris – a strong symbolic device.• What could the split narrative symbolise?• This symbolic device is one of many binary oppositions with the film. Dichotomy: division or Task – 1 Minute contrast between two• Can you think of any other Binary things that are or are Oppositions? represented as being opposed or entirely• How are these opposition represent different. throughout the film?
Binary OppositionsWorking Class / Under Middle /Class Upper ClassLes Banlieues ‘Gentrified’ Paris city centreEthnic Minorities WhiteViolence as Art asentertainment entertainmentCitizens PoliceImmigrant community ‘Native’ orresistant to assimilation assimilated French Gentrification: To renovate or improve a housing district or area so that it conforms to middle class taste
Episodic Hatred• The film begins with a montage of shots capturing riots taking place in Paris• This footage is a combination of footage from the riots that took place in the 1980’s and early 1990’s• What does this montage suggest about France?• Riots are a consistent part of modern French history• Violence, civil disobedience and police brutality are reoccurring events that certain citizens are used to• How does this sequence establish some of the films major themes?
Episodic Hatred• The film is then structured by a series of ‘Episodes’• Example: – Sayid & Hubert’s interrogation at the hands of the police• Many of these episodes builds to a mini-climax and are followed by moments of relative calm.• Each episode focuses on a specific theme of the film and as a result, we can identify clear cut sequences to be included in to our analysis and exam• We see examples of Power, Poverty & Conflict in several of the films episodes • What is Kassovitz trying to say through this episodic narrative structure? • What can we learn about Power, Poverty and Conflict? • These three elements are commonplace in French society, from the Government and the Media down to the immigrant street kids of Les Banlieues
Episodic Task• Each group has a series of resources containing: • Stills • Scene Synopsis • Todorov’s Theory template• You have 5 minutes to read the synopsis and identify if/how Todorov’s theory can be applied to your sequence• Labels the stills that you think correspond to the five stages• You will then share your findings with the class• You must note down what your class-mates say – these notes will be essential to your understanding of the film
Tick followed tock...• The narrative is broken up in to several episodes each separated by a ticking clock – a narrative device in itself• What purposes does the ticking clock serve?• Signal the beginning/end of a particular ‘episode’• Moves the narrative forward in a clear and straightforward way• The clock is counting down to a single event, at which the narrative will end What event is the clock ticking down to? This clock is a very effective way of building tension and creates an enigma code
‘Smoking Gun’• Often in films an object or even a location can act as a narrative device• For example....• Can you think of an object in La Haine that could be considered Narrative Devices?The Police officers Gun found by VinzThe gun is closely linked to Vinz throughout the filmand there are several comparisons we can drawbetween the object and the character of VinzIn what ways does the gun resemblethe character of Vinz?
Vinz & The GunBoth the gun and Vinz are essential to the narrative of thefilm• The gun and Vinz can both be seen as violent weapons that can cause death• Both are likely to ‘go off ’ at any point• If we compare Vinz’s anger to a bullet in the gun we can say that both are ‘loaded’ the resolution of the narrative hinges on how both Vinz’s anger and the bullets in the gun are used• A gun is just an object until it is used – only then does it become a weapon
There are four work stations around theclass TaskEach station contains the following:•Stills from a Key Scene•A synopsis•An exam style essay questionYou will have 6 minutes at each station tostudy the resources then complete a shortone-paragraph answer for the essayquestion setWhen 6 minutes are up you must move tothe next station and repeat the exercisewith new resourcesQuestion needs to be related – whatpurpose does this scene serve to thenarrative? – does it progress the narrativeat all or does it serve another purpose?
SummaryDespite the opinions of the films create we can identify a clear linearnarrative structure within La HaineThe episodic nature of the film introduces and discusses social issuesthat serve as the backdrop for La HaineNot all episodes or elements off the film can be considered ‘narrativedevices’ – Hubert in his bedroom does not reveal any important Narrative information, it serves another purpose – We are encouraged to empathise with the character and we are also reminded that he is young, troubled and surrounded by Power, Poverty & Crime – We also learn that he is in touch with his environment in a way that Vinz and Sayid are not