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Todorov's Narrative Theory

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David Mitchell-Baker

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of Todorov's Narrative Theory

Todorov's Narrative Theory
Application of theory to
music videos:
Pearl Jam-Jeremy
Relation to other
forms of media:
This theory is highly applicable to many films, primarily comedies and romances.
Application of theory to
music videos:
There are many music videos that follow this trend, here are a few varied examples:
Todorov's 5 stages:
Todorov suggested that there are 5 stages to the narrative of a music video:
Everything is in a calm, satisfied state, this is the normal.
This the disruption of the normality, the introduction of a problem, usually caused by an event.
The realisation that there is a problem.
Attempt to repair:
The solving/solution to the problem or issue.
Everything is retsored to the state of equilibrium or a similar state, not necessarily identical.
Does this apply to our music video?
In short, no.

Our video does have a story in which there is a problem, but it is only from the perspective of one character, they are acting more selfishly and objectively over another character.
The problem is resolved but not in the way that the one who sees the problem would hope.

Deaviating away from this theory may displease our audience as the video may feel that it has no proper resolution or usual story structure that viewers may be used to and enjoy.
Tenacious D-Tribute
1) Band walking along desert highway.
2) Encounter with Satan, he threatens to steal their souls.
3) They must play the greatest song in the world.
4) They play the song and defeat Satan.
5) The band retain their souls.
Foo Fighters-My Hero
1) People are living happily and safely.
2) Fire breaks out at house.
3) People are trapped inside burning house.
4) Man must rescue people from fire.
5) Man saves people from the burning
1) Young boy is troubled, he craves attention and approval.
2) People begin to laugh at him and tease him.
3) He starts to lose his sanity and realises that nobody likes him.
4) Boy kills himself infront of his class.
5) He has the attention he craved.
This video is a sadder and more abstract presentation of this theory.
Eminem-Stan (feat. Dido)
1) Man craves attention and affection from his rapper idol.
2) His idol doesn't reply to his calls or letters.
3) He begins to lose his mind over his obsession with his idol and chooses to kill himself to gain attention.
4) He kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend.
5) His idol knows about his suicide and has gained his attention.
This is also a sadder and more abstract
presentation of the theory.
Airplane (1980)
1) A flight is leaving for Chicago.
2) The pilots and many of the passengers fall ill from food poisoning.
3) The plane cannot land without the pilots, a doctor says the ill need to be treated quickly.
4) An ex-fighter pilot lands the plane.
5) The ill are treated in hospital.
The Perks of being a Wallflower (2012)
1) A teenage boy is happy with his life.
2) His best friend commits suicide and his aunty dies on his birthday.
3) He suffers from mental health issues and depression.
4) 2 older teenagers sympathise with him and bring him in their friendship group to add fun into his life.
5) He falls in love with the girl and begins to lead
a happy life again.
Full transcript