Narrative Theories• It is important to consider and to learn how to apply traditional narrative theories before we consider how they may have evolved and changed.• These theories are important as they give us a framework for analysing and also creating film and televisions media productions
Tzvetan Todorov (1939)• Todorov is a Bulgarian theorist who suggested that the main function of any QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. narrative was to… • solve a problem • and that characters pass through a series of stages • following a linear narrative • where events follow a chronological order
Todorov’s Theory The narrative starts with an equilibrium An action/ character disrupts the equilibriumA quest to restore the equilibrium starts which involves conflict The narrative moves to a confrontation /climax Resolution/ equilibrium is restored
Claude Levi-Strauss (1949)• Levi-Strauss is a French anthropologist who studies the myths and legends of many different countries and cultures. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.• He claimed that in any narrative there is the constant creation of conflict/opposition that propels the narrative forwards (binary oppositions)• Narratives can only end on a resolution of conflict. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.• Opposition can be visual (light/darkness, movement/stillness) or conceptual (love/hate, control/panic good/evil.)
Vladimir Propp (1928)• Propp was a Russian critic and folklorist- he researched the characters in myths QuickTime™ and a decompressor and fairytales. are needed to see this picture.• He was concerned with the relationship between narrative and characters.• He argued that stories are character driven and plots develop around characters. QuickTime™ and a decompressor• He looked at characters and their are needed to see this picture. functions in a story/narrative.(Morphology of the Folktale -1928)
Propp’s Theory 7 Character Roles & Function1. The hero (who has a quest)2. The villain (struggles against the hero, tries to stop him completing his mission.)3. The donor (prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object) QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.4. The helper (helps the hero in the quest)5. The princess (the heroes reward)6. Her father (gives the hero his reward for completing the quest)7. The dispatcher (character who makes the lack known and sends the hero off)
Task• Choose a film or TV programme ( fiction please!) Try to find one that fits Todorov’s frame for a linear narrative:a) Break down the narrative into sections suggested.b)What experiences do linear narratives offer audiences?
Task• Watch the Pixar short film ‘Boundin’ QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.a) Apply Levi-Strauss’ theory/ structure to the film.a) Apply Propp’s theory/ structure to the film.
Challenges to his theory• This is a simple typical structure that most texts fit into/follow.• However we should be considering the QuickTime™ and a problem of a ‘return to equilibrium’ or the decompressor are needed to see this picture. idea of a ‘resolution’…• Some media texts that try to challenge audiences have OPEN ENDED NARRATIVES - leaving the audience to interpret what they understand by the ending. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.• Other resolutions are far from a ‘return to equilibrium’ e.g. the end of the film Se7en (1995) which is bleak and desolate.
Non- Linear Narratives• Also not all texts conform to the linear structure.• A key aspect of narrative is its ability to manipulate time and space. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.• Many narratives are circular in their structure and / or move around in time.• Films like Memento (2000) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) The Butterfly Effect (2001) and Vantage Point (2008)• The narrative can be complicated and can challenge the audience - due to its structure. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.• In non-fiction - such as sports programmes - time and space is manipulated - we readily accept action replays and the same events from different camera angles.
Multi-strand Narratives• The narrative structure in many TV programmes and some films does not always follow only one storyline.E.g. series, long running dramas and Soap Operas. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.• Many TV dramas such as Holby City operate a 3 strand narrative structure. Each narrative strand is introduced at the beginning of the episode and then interweave as the programme progresses. On going storylines - that continue across episodes - appeals to regular loyal audiences. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. You can also have split screen narrative techniques Narrative strands are important in attracting and maintaining audience interest.
Narrative Devices• A narrative device is a technique used to tell a story. Narrative devices have the ability to:• Move the story forward• Organise time and space• Manipulate audience understanding of events and characters
Narrative Devices• Linear• Non-Linear• Flashback• Flash-forward• Multi-strand Narratives• Point of View• 1st Person Narration• 3rd Person Narration• Open and Closed narrative• Cliff hangers• Split Screen• Real time• Realist/Anti Realist