G.C.S.E FILM STUDIES
Narrative and Character Theory
have two minutes
What was the story for the last film you
What happened in that story?
to the class
is narrative and the difference between plot
Todorov’s narrative theory.
Propps character theory
able to analyse a scene and identify what is
the plot and also what is the story.
Use Todorovs theory to explain a film extract.
Use the character theory on a scene breakdown.
The forms of narrative
narrative – Begins at the start moves to the
middle and then to the end.
Non Linear – May begin in any order, middle then
beginning and then end, e.g. Pulp Fiction, 500
Days of Summer or Kill Bill
Circular – begins at the end and then tells story in
linear fashion returning to the end.
Episodic – story told in chapters the chapters may
follow characters and then not be in order.
In groups on your tables try to name films you
have seen that use these types of narrative
What films did you identify use these narrative
There are going to be four examples shown.
Identify the narrative formats being used in the
You will have five minutes to analyse and
identify the format.
Justify your answer – give reasons why you
think it is that format?
Macro Features for Narrative
Story - the chronological order that events
Plot – how the audience are shown these
Todorovs Narrative Theory
Todorov theory is that all stories follow this order:
This is how the story will begin the place and
characters are in their normal routines.
Something happens to disrupt this order – this could
be any event such as war or a villain. This has to be
resolved by the hero.
A new equilibrium is established after the hero
resolved the conflict.
Watch the clip
How is the equilibrium and disequilibrium set
From your knowledge how is equilibrium
Between the disequilibrium and the restoration
of equilibrium there can also be:
– aware of what happens and drama
Attempts to repair – heroes try and there maybe a
plot twist or climactic point. They are temporary
prevented from restoring the harmony.
Can you apply this theory to Spiderman?
Disruption – Disequilibrium
Attempts to repair
How does recognition and attempts to repair
happen within these scenes?
Vladmir Propp analysed over one hundered
texts/media and he identified seven broad
He believed that you could adapt these types
to fit the characters in all text/media.
The villain (struggles against the hero)
The donor (prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical
The (magical) helper (helps the hero in the quest)
The princess (person the hero marries, often sought for
during the narrative)
The false hero (perceived as good character in beginning but
emerges as evil)
The dispatcher (character who makes the lack known and
sends the hero off)
The hero or victim/seeker hero, reacts to the donor, weds the
Who would the characters be in the film.
Watch the trailer
The (magical) helper
The false hero
The hero or victim/seeker hero
Odin, Jane, Destroyer, Loki, Heimdall, Erik
Watch Films !!!
A new initiative to open up your viewing
experience select one film from the list below
all are important and significant films to
cinema watch them and write a short report on
the movie using the terminology we have been
developing this weeks focus camera and
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
500 Days of Summer
Clubs are after school on Fridays