As narrative theory


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As narrative theory

  1. 1. Narrative Theory Learning objective: To investigate and discuss different narrative theory’s To apply narrative theory to TV Drama
  2. 2. Storytelling/ narrative structure <ul><li>Way in which the narrative of a film is constructed. </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative is defined as “a chain of events in a cause-effect relationship occurring in </li></ul><ul><li>time” (Bordwell & Thompson, Film Art, 1980). </li></ul>
  3. 3. List the characters in Cinderella
  4. 4. In your group... <ul><li>Read through your Narrative theory together and make notes. </li></ul><ul><li>Can you find any examples from film/TV/fairy tales to support this narrative theory? </li></ul><ul><li>Nominate a spokesperson from each group to explain the theory. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Vladimir Propp <ul><li>Russian critic and literary theorist. </li></ul><ul><li>Analysed over 100 Russian fairytales in the 1920s. </li></ul><ul><li>He proposed that it was possible to classify the characters and their actions into clearly defined roles and functions. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Propp’s Character Roles <ul><li>The hero (seeks something) </li></ul><ul><li>The villain (opposes the hero) </li></ul><ul><li>The donor (helps the hero by providing a magic object) </li></ul><ul><li>The dispatcher (sends the hero on his way) </li></ul><ul><li>The false hero (falsely assuming the role of hero) </li></ul><ul><li>The helper (gives support to the hero) </li></ul><ul><li>The princess (the reward for the hero, but also needs protection from the villain) </li></ul><ul><li>Her father </li></ul>
  7. 7. Tzvetan Todorov <ul><li>Bulgarian literary theorist </li></ul><ul><li>Suggests most narratives start with a state of equilibrium in which life is ‘normal’ and the protagonist is happy. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>This model can easily be applied to a wide range of films. </li></ul>
  8. 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. 9. Claude Levi-Strauss <ul><li>Social Anthropologist. </li></ul><ul><li>Studied myths of tribal cultures. </li></ul><ul><li>Examined how stories unconsciously reflect the values, beliefs and myths of a culture. </li></ul><ul><li>These are usually expressed in the form of binary oppositions . </li></ul><ul><li>His research has been adapted by media theorists to reveal underlying themes and symbolic oppositions in media texts. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Examples of opposition... <ul><li>Black.... </li></ul><ul><li>Good... </li></ul><ul><li>Male... </li></ul><ul><li>Young... </li></ul><ul><li>Poor... </li></ul><ul><li>Old... </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of any other examples? </li></ul>What binary opposition was evident in ‘Teachers’?
  11. 11. Binary Oppositions <ul><li>A conflict between two qualities or terms. </li></ul><ul><li>For example 1970’s Western films: </li></ul><ul><li> Homesteaders Native Americans </li></ul><ul><li>christian pagan </li></ul><ul><li>domestic savage </li></ul><ul><li>weak strong </li></ul><ul><li>garden wilderness </li></ul><ul><li>inside society outside society </li></ul>
  12. 12. Roland Barthes <ul><li>French semiologist. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggested that narrative works with five different codes which activate the reader to make sense of it. </li></ul><ul><li>(also used the terms denotation and connotation to analyse images) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Barthes’ Codes <ul><li>Action – a narrative device by which a resolution is produced through action, e.g. a shoot-out. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic – (connotation) </li></ul><ul><li>Semic – (denotation) </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of any films or TV drama that use an enigma code? </li></ul>
  14. 14. This trailer uses enigma codes to make the audience intrigued about the film. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>What techniques are employed to create an enigma code? </li></ul><ul><li>Look at: </li></ul><ul><li>Editing </li></ul><ul><li>Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Mise en scene </li></ul><ul><li>Sound </li></ul><ul><li>Lighting </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Which drama sub-genre commonly use enigma codes? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Other narratives... <ul><li>Flashback </li></ul><ul><li>Flash forward </li></ul><ul><li>Linear (in sequential order e.g a drama might start at breakfast and continue to develop in order of time) </li></ul><ul><li>Non-linear (out of sequence eg a drama might start at night, then show an event that happened hours before) </li></ul><ul><li>This helps to create an enigma code </li></ul>
  17. 17. HW: due Monday 7 th November on your blog <ul><li>Watch the first episode of Lost (series 1, episode1) and write a detailed answer for each question (500 words) </li></ul><ul><li>What narrative structure/s are evident in the first episode of Lost? What effect does this have on the audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the sound techniques used in the first episode of Lost. What effect do they have on the audience? </li></ul><ul><li>How is realism constructed in this episode of Lost? </li></ul><ul><li>How does Lost fit the conventions of a TV drama? </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Part 1 - </li></ul><ul><li>Part 2 – </li></ul><ul><li>Part 3 – </li></ul><ul><li>Part 4 - </li></ul>