Key concept narrative

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Section 1B

Transcript of Key concept narrative

  • 1. Aims/ objectives To reinforce the key narrative theorists To have a basic understanding of how to evaluate your coursework against key narrative theory.
  • 2. To be able to write about this key concept you need to know... About the importance of narrative and what narrative means. The different types/ theories of narrative (conventional and unconventional) How to apply your music video to one or two theories of narrative
  • 3. Some key terminology for today Linear narrative Non linear narrative Chronological order Cause-and-effect Story is what happens... Narrative is how it happens (structure)
  • 4. Task: 1. Using no more than 15 post it notes write down the events that happen in your music video. Stick them on the A3 sheet. 2. If you use split screen then draw them on your post its 3. Is your narrative LINEAR or NON-LINEAR? 4. Make notes on the post-it when time is flashbacks/ ellipses.
  • 5. What do you already know about narrative theory? Todorov Barthes Propp Levi Strauss Traditional / conventional narratives linked to literary theory You need to be able to apply one or two of these narrative theorists to the narrative in your music video
  • 6. How does your music video narrative link to conventional narrative theory? Mark on your post it notes where your video fits narrative
  • 7. Key terminology for NARRATIVE (and correlating grades) 1. Theorists: Todorov, Strauss, Propp, Barthes 2. Narrative 3. Diegesis 4. Story 5. Plot 6. Unrestricted narration 7. Restricted narration 8. Character identification 9. Modular narratives
  • 8. Narrative range Unrestricted narration A narrative which has no limits to the information that is presented (eg a news bulletin) Restricted narration Only offers minimal information regarding the narrative Which narration is yours?
  • 9. Narrative depth Subjective character identification- the viewer is given unique access to what a range of characters see and do. Objective character identification- the viewer is given unique access to a characters point of view such as seeing things from the characters mind Which character identification do you have?
  • 10. What is narrative? Narrative is defined as a chain of events in a cause-effect relationship occurring in time (Bordwell and Thompson, 1980) Story- all the events that happen in a narrative both the ones we see and the ones that are inferred (eg. before and after) Plot- how the story is ordered/ sequenced. Diegesis- the world in which the story takes place.
  • 11. Todorovs narrative theory Tzvetan Todorov suggested there were 5 stages to a narrative: Equilibrium (everything is satisfied, calm and normal) A disruption of this equilibrium (disequilibrium) by an event (problem) A recognition that a disruption has happened. An attempt to repair the damage of the disruption (problem is solved) A restoration of a new state of equilibrium (the final state of equilibrium is not the same as the one at the beginning.)
  • 12. Barthes narrative theory Roland Barthes describes a text as "a galaxy of signifiers, not a structure of signifieds; it has no beginning; it is reversible; we gain access to it by several entrances, none of which can be authoritatively declared to be the main one; the codes it mobilises extend as far as the eye can read, they are indeterminable...the systems of meaning can take over this absolutely plural text, but their number is never closed, based as it is on the infinity of language..." (S/Z 1974 translation)
  • 13. What does this mean? Basically, Barthes argued that the reader produces new meanings when reading a text, making use of previous experience. Therefore, different people read different things from a text. Texts may be open (many meanings/ interpretations) Texts may be closed (only one meaning) Barthes had a series of narrative codes. The most well known is the enigma code. This is the hook or mystery to be resolved for the audience. He also believed the narrative was made up of signifiers (objects that brought meaning to the narrative.)
  • 14. Levi-Strauss narrative theory Claude Levi- Strauss was interested in how much of our world is described in terms of opposites (binary oppositions) Night/day, good/bad, light/dark The importance of these ideas is that essentially a complicated world is reduced to a simple either/ or structure. Things are either right or wrong, good or bad....etc. This has ideological implications (eg what if the hero was not wholly good, villains werent always bad etc)
  • 15. Propps narrative theory Vladimir Propp studies folk tales and legends from different countries He found they were all quite similar They seemed to be about the same basic problems and the same types of character kept cropping up. He focused on the way these characters seemed to be types rather than individuals He recognised 8 character types
  • 16. Propps 8 character types 1. The hero, who is on the quest (search) 2. The villain, who opposes the hero 3. The donor, who helps the hero by giving him a tool 4. The dispatcher, who starts the hero on his way 5. The false hero, who tempts the hero away from his quest 6. The helper, who helps the hero 7. The princess, who is the reward for the hero 8. Her father, who rewards the hero for his efforts
  • 17. Task: In your music video group... Choose one or two narrative theories you think your music video can best be applied to. Write down some ideas about how it fits that theory (ies). How does it fit the theory but ALSO experiments with different approaches? Eg my music video fits Todorovs theory in this way...but it is different in this way.....
  • 18. Non traditional/ experimental forms of narration Allan Camerons modular narratives: articulate a sense of time as divisible and subject to manipulation. Four types Anachronic Forking paths Episodic Split screens
  • 19. Anachronic modular narrative Involve the use of flashbacks and/or flashforwards with no clear dominance between any of the narrative threads. These narratives often repeat scenes directly or via a different perspective. DO YOU HAVE THIS IN YOUR VIDEO?
  • 20. Forking path narrative ...narratives juxtapose alternative versions of a story showing the possible outcomes that might result from small changes in a single event or group of events. The forking narrative introduces a number of plotlines that usually contradict one another. DO YOU HAVE THIS IN YOUR VIDEO?
  • 21. Episodic narratives ...are organised as an abstract series or narrative anthology. It is characterised by the operation of a non narrative formal system which appears to dictate the organisation of narrative elements such as a sequence of numbers or the alphabet. Anthology consists of a series of shorter tales which are apparently disconnected but share a random similarity, such as all episodes being survivors of a shipwreck. DO YOU HAVE THIS IN YOUR VIDEO?
  • 22. Split screen Narratives are different from the other types of modular narrative discussed here because their modularity is articulated along spatial rather than temporal lines. Diving the screen into 2 or more frames, juxtaposing events within the same visual field, in a sustained fashion. DO YOU HAVE THIS IN YOUR VIDEO?
  • 23. Essay question Media texts rely on cultural experiences in order for audiences to easily make sense of narratives. Explain how you used conventional and/ or experimental narrative approaches in one of your production pieces.