Applying narrative theory short version

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Applying narrative theory short version

  1. 1. Applying Narrative Theory Codes & Conventions of Narrative
  2. 2. Applying Vladimir Propp’s Theory- 7 broad character types Vladimir Propp developed a character theory for studying media texts which indicates that there are 7 broad character types. 1.Hero – Leads the narrative, is usually looking for something or trying to solve something. Does not have to be a male character! 2.Villain – Conflicts with the hero. 3.Heroine – Is usually some sort if prize or reward for the hero. N.B. if your hero is a female, your heroine can be male. 4.Father – An authoritative figure who offers a reward to the hero for completing their quest. That reward can be a prince/princess, or an object of value. 5.Helper – Helps the hero – often acts as sidekick. 6.Donor – Gives the hero something – a clue, a talisman, a special power – which helps them complete their quest. 7.Mentor – Teaches and guides the hero. Complexities 1.These roles could sometimes be distributed among various characters, as the hero kills the villain dragon, and the dragon's sisters take on the villainous role of chasing him. 2.Conversely, one character could engage in acts as more than one role, as a father could send his son on the quest and give him a sword, acting as both dispatcher and donor.
  3. 3. Propp’s character archetypes applied to Star Wars & Sherk • • • • • • • The Villain Darth Vader The Donor Obi Won Kenobe The Helper Han Solo The Princess Princess Leah The Dispatcher R2 - D2 The Hero Luke Skywalker The False Hero -Darth Vader (Luke’s dad) • • • • • • • Hero – Shrek Villain – Lord Farquaad Heroine – Princess Fiona Father – Lord Farquaad (In this instance) Helper – Donkey Donor – Dragon Mentor – None as such. Using examples from your own production, how relevant is Propp’s theory published in 1928, still relevant?
  4. 4. Applying The Theory of Todorov Franco-Bulgarian philosopher who coined the term narratology meaning to look at units of meaning in a text. Todorov felt that all stories start in a state of equilibrium, which is then disrupted, setting in a motion a chain of events. The resolution of the story is the creation of new/different equilibrium.    Applying to audiences. Why in everyday life do you think that when we are sharing sad, happy, exciting or surprising events with one another that we often want to explain events in terms of beginnings, middle and an end? Why do you think starting with a beginning, middle and end often works for audiences? However, can you think of any why opening up a film with a stage other than an equilibrium or disruption of an equilibrium stage, might be just as appealing to an audience?   CAUTION!!!! AS Level examiners have grown to HATE the way students simply think it is enough to Todorov
  5. 5. Applying The Theory of Todorov With specific examples from your production, to what extent is your production true to Todorov ideas about stages of narrative or indeed, a development and/or challenge to it? (3-4 marks) How relevant do you think Todorov stages of narrative is relevant to audience’s enjoyment of media production
  6. 6. Binary Oppositions • • • Levi-Strauss looked at narrative structure and themes in texts in terms of Binary Oppositions. Binary oppositions are opposite values that reveal the structure of media texts. It is important to look at the detonations (literal meaning) and connotations (cultural significance) of the sign. Hero Coward Natural Artificial Good Evil Male Female Rational Emotional Strong Weak Day Night Looking at the narrative structure of one of your own productions, which binary oppositions do you use that were already familiar to your audience? consider to be present and which individual/combined film techniques did you use to try to secure desired readings on behalf of your
  7. 7. Tim O’Sullivan (1998) Media texts offer a way of telling stories about ourselves – not usually our own personal stories, but the story of us as a culture or set of cultures. Through careful mediation, media texts offer a way of telling stories about ourselves (as a culture) – these are ideologies -when things go wrong/unplanned you must be responsible and deal with the situation as appropriate. Making an unplanned relationship work with your child’s biological parent because this is the ‘right’ thing to do Sherk: Moral ideologies , such as, ' it's not what's on the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts.' It also emphasizes companionship, that friends should always stick together. -pursue a relationship with ideal partner because love is Important (sometimes you have to sacrifice other things in life for this). Follow your expected role in life. Applying Tim Sullivan’s ideas– Which specific dominant ideologies are played out, developed or indeed challenged in your production? Also, what specific film techniques did you employ to help successful construct these ideologies on screen?
  8. 8. Restricted or /and Omniscient Narration • • Restricted narration –Audiences see an event through the viewpoint of only one person. This can add surprise as audiences only discover events alongside the character seeing the film’s events through his/her eyes. A camerawork technique such as extensive use of ‘point-of-view’ shots is commonly used. It is typically used in the detective genre as a way of increasing the mystery and impenetrability of the story. Omniscient narration –Audiences see events from multiple viewpoints adding suspense as audiences are privy to information other characters are not. This technique is often used in melodrama and is intended to introduce a discrepancy between the information held by the characters and that of the spectator. This is useful in increasing the dramatic suspense crucial to melodrama. Narrative information conveyed from a wide variety of sources by means of camerawork; the camera freely moves from one character to another so the events can be seen through the eyes of different characters. Scream (Wes Craven 1996) Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) in ‘Scream’ is a good example of omniscient narration. As in ‘most horror genre films we know more than the victim does. (He’s behind you!) (Bonus Marks) To what extent did the chosen genre and/or storyline of your production inform your decision to opt for a restricted or omniscient narration? To what extent did opting for an omniscient or restricted narration, help to provide a desired outcome? (i.e. creation of a specific mood, style, and/ or sharing of information/ important circumstances).

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