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Film Narrative

"Feature films are narratives- they all tell stories."

Clarissa Henebury

on 29 January 2013

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Transcript of Film Narrative

The universality of story Film Narrative Structuralism & Narrative +Structuralists- look at film to see how they fit in or define; genre, style, and movement. 'Binary Oppositions' The Function of Narrative 'Property of the HUMAN MIND' "...the world 'comes to us' in the shape of stories." "Feature Films are narratives,
they all tell stories.." + Even films based on 'real
events' are fictionalized .. Creates; Drama, telescopes time, avoids minor characters, simply more entertaining. "Based on a true story" Film Narratives + Usually summarized by
their plots in- advance publicity
- T.v guides
- reviews
- conversations, etc. Narratology: (study of narratives) Throughout the times of primitive and industrialized societies, the debate about the function and nature of narrative has been brought to many conclusions by many people.. Anthropologists} Claude Levi- Strauss.

Folklorists} Vladimir Propp

Semioticians} Roland Barthes

British Cultural Studies Theorists} Stuart Hall Story takes on many forms.. - Myths
- Legends
- Ballads
- Folktales
- Rituals
- Dance
- Histories
- Novels
- Jokes
- Dramas They also take on many
social functions.. 'from entertainment to religious instruction.' "All societies tell stories." Story- Telling
(narrative) Reading.. School time.... 'joy'. Since Childhood... Universal Function and Structure Vladimir Propp (1975) = Cultural Experience. " So that's how it happens.." ' Erm..will this be on the test?' NO. "Stories explain the world" ? Conclusion. + Provides us with an "easy" and "unconscious" way of "constructing our world." +Narrative structure found in folktales of one culture may recur in another.. - Analyzed Russian folktales to see what common properties they may share. He found:
All shared structural features..
despite difference in 'surface details'
(characterization, setting, plot.) Most Common features: (sets of characters and 'spheres of action'.) { 7 Character & 'Sphere Actions' } 1. the villain
2. the donor (provider)
3. the helper
4. the princess (or sought after) & her father
5. the dispatcher
6. the hero or victim
7. the false hero 1.) "Function of characters serve as stable, constant elements... fundamental components of a tale."

2.) The number of functions is limited. 3.) The sequence is always identical. Propp Concludes: 4.) All folktales are of one type, regarding structure. Propps Organized Folktale Functions Indication of place of development in plot. Preparation + Family member leaves home
+ Rule imposed on hero
+ Rule broken
+ Villain learns something about victim
+Victim unknowingly helps villain + Villain harms family member
+ Lack/ misfortune made known, sends hero on mission/quest
+ Hero plans action against villain Complication + Hero leaves home
+ Hero is tested/attacked/interrogated > result> receives magical agent/helper
+ hero finds object of mission/quest Transference + Hero/villain join in direct combat
+ Hero is branded
+ Villain is defeated
+ Initial lack/Misfortune set right Struggle + Hero return
+ Hero perused
+ Hero rescued from pursuit
+ Hero arrives home unrecognized
+ False hero makes false claim Return + False hero exposed
+ False hero transformed
+ Villain in punished
+ Hero is married or crowned Recognition Example: [Structural characterization and cultural function - similar between 'Modern Feature Film' and 'Primitive Folktale'] Propp's (Morphology) The villain/ false hero

The donor

The helper

The princess

The dispatcher

The hero Darth Vadar Obi- wan Kenobi Han Solo Princess Leia R2-D2 Luke Skywalker The Villain The Donor The Helper The Princess The Dispatcher The Hero Claude Levi-Strauss (1966) - Related myth and legend to perceptual mechanisms in the brain.

Myths- made to deal with contradictions of life. Another example of Propps 'structure theory' - A two term conflict. LAND






'THEM' V.S - Humans way of determining 'meaning' (the product of difference and similarity) What it "is" & what it is "not".. *We know* +Narrative is established by conflict. +Conflict (loyalties, values) motivates events and actions of story. Key Idea: 'Signifying Systems' [visual imagery emphasizing one side.] EX. Traditional 'WESTERN' Homesteaders
Domestic Indians
Savage culture VS nature SIMPLY UNDERSTAND.. -There is a common structural process in narrative, which has a determining effect in what we see on cinema screens. CAUSE & EFFECT
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