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Year 9 - Short Film & Tropfest - Part 1: Narrative

Teaching students how to analyse narrative in film
by

Shayne Travis Grieve

on 8 July 2013

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Transcript of Year 9 - Short Film & Tropfest - Part 1: Narrative

Analyse This!
teaching you how to understand film!!!
the following lessons are designed to show you all the basics (and not so basic) of film analysis. a skill you will find invaluable as your studies in FTV continue.
the plan
So firstly we need to teach you to use the terminology to discuss a film's style and narrative in order to construct an argument about an element(s) of the film.

So... let's get it started!
All feature films are narratives -
meaning they tell stories.

'Narrative'
= the means by which the story within a film is structured and organised.

Studying narrative then means we are focusing on the way events are organised within a film to create meaning.

There is a
huge link
between
narrative and genre
and the conventions of both shape each other.

Eg: the generic conventions of romantic comedy, tell us that the narrative should lead the boy and the girl to finally get together at the end.
narrative
exercise
In pairs - Think of a genre and make notes on any elements of narrative that you consider to be attached to that genre.
narrative conventions allow different spaces and times to be organised in a
meaningful way.

a narrative should only include elements that are crucial to plot or
character development
. (btw - the time that is purposefully missed out is called
'ellipsis'
)

This creates a state of disequilibrium.
Along comes anti-equilibrium (problems, events, crooks, bad-guys) to destroy the equilibrium
In a narrative there's usually a period of equilibrium (all is well)
The attempted to return to a new state of peace.
Todorov's Theory of
Basic Narrative Structure
5 DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF NARRATIVE

* Exposition
- introduces the setting and the characters to the film audience.

* Development
- storyline is developed and the audience meets more characters.

* Complication
- complicating events or characters that will adversely affect the lives of the main protagonist.

* Climax
- dramatic tension is at it’s height - all secrets, enigmas of previous action are revealed. This is often where good vs evil come to a head.

* Resolution
- the end of film. the sequence where stability is re-established and a form of calm has been restored.
When writing about narrative...
Demonstrate an awareness of how the narrative is constructed, DO NOT simply restate the plot/story. You need to be able to identify:
who is the
protagonist?
(the leading/main figure character)
what goal
motivates protagonist?
what are the
obstacles that create conflict
for the protagonist?
how does the protagonist
overcome those obstacles?
what is the
resolution?
Short Film Exercise:
1. Watch
Jason Reitman's 'Gulp'
2. Using the
5 stages of narrative
described previously. Discuss what happens in each of these sections within the film.
PART 1: Narrative
Full transcript