CategoryEntertainment & Humor
Narrative TheoryLearning objective:
To investigate and discuss different narrative theorys
To apply narrative theory to TV Drama
Storytelling/ narrative structureWay in which the narrative of a film is constructed.
Narrative is defined as a chain of events in a cause-effect relationship occurring in time (Bordwell & Thompson, Film Art, 1980).
List the characters in Cinderella
In your group...
Read through your Narrative theory together and make notes.Can you find any examples from film/TV/fairy tales to support this narrative theory?
Nominate a spokesperson from each group to explain the theory.
Vladimir ProppRussian critic and literary theorist.Analysed over 100 Russian fairytales in the 1920s.
He proposed that it was possible to classify the characters and their actions into clearly defined roles and functions.
Films such as Star Wars fit Propps model precisely, but a a significant number of more recent films such as Pulp Fiction do not.
Propps Character RolesThe hero (seeks something)The villain (opposes the hero)The donor (helps the hero by providing a magic object)The dispatcher (sends the hero on his way)The false hero (falsely assuming the role of hero)The helper (gives support to the hero)The princess (the reward for the hero, but also needs protection from the villain)Her father
Tzvetan TodorovBulgarian literary theoristSuggests most narratives start with a state of equilibrium in which life is normal and the protagonist is happy.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.This model can easily be applied to a wide range of films.
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
Claude Levi-StraussSocial Anthropologist.Studied myths of tribal cultures.Examined how stories unconsciously reflect the values, beliefs and myths of a culture.These are usually expressed in the form of binary oppositions.His research has been adapted by media theorists to reveal underlying themes and symbolic oppositions in media texts.
Examples of opposition...Black....Good...Male...Young...Poor...Old...
Can you think of any other examples?
What binary opposition was evident in Teachers?
Binary OppositionsA conflict between two qualities or terms.For example 1970s Western films: Homesteaders Native Americanschristian pagandomestic savageweak stronggarden wildernessinside society outside society
Roland BarthesFrench semiologist.Suggested that narrative works with five different codes which activate the reader to make sense of it.
(also used the terms denotation and connotation to analyse images)
Barthes CodesAction a narrative device by which a resolution is produced through action, e.g. a shoot-out.Enigma a narrative device that teases the audience by presenting a puzzle or riddle to be solved. Works to delay the storys ending pleasurably.Symbolic (connotation)Semic (denotation)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.
Can you think of any films or TV drama that use an enigma code?
This trailer uses enigma codes to make the audience intrigued about the film.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXO0he1WjYwWhat techniques are employed to create an enigma code?
Look at:EditingPerformanceMise en sceneSoundLighting
Which drama sub-genre commonly use enigma codes?
Linear (in sequential order e.g a drama might start at breakfast and continue to develop in order of time)
Non-linear (out of sequence eg a drama might start at night, then show an event that happened hours before)This helps to create an enigma code
HW: due Monday 7th November on your blog Watch the first episode of Lost (series 1, episode1) and write a detailed answer for each question (500 words)
What narrative structure/s are evident in the first episode of Lost? What effect does this have on the audience?
Discuss the sound techniques used in the first episode of Lost. What effect do they have on the audience?
How is realism constructed in this episode of Lost?
How does Lost fit the conventions of a TV drama?
Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoGebTIYjPg
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds9q-S6eCfs&feature=related
Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqhSvZhPlEE&feature=related
Part 4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkWLSgt0bqU&feature=related
Wrong side of the bed*