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Narration in FilmsNarration in Films
Film Principles
Bong S. Eliab
Ateneo de Davao University
Narration
 Plot: distribution of story
information to the viewer.
 At any point in a given
narrative, we can ask
ourselv...
Range of Narration
1. Unrestricted
Narration
2. Restricted Narration
Francois Ozon’s Swimming Pool
Unrestricted Narration
 When the viewer
knows more than
any or all of the
characters.
 Highly unrestricted
narration is ...
Restricted Narration
 When the viewer
knows only as much
as a single
character (usually
the protagonist).
 Example: Male...
Depth of Narration
1. Objective Narration
2. Perceptual
Subjectivity
Narration
3. Mental Subjectivity
Narration
Swimming P...
Objective Narration
 Viewer’s knowledge is
restricted to the external
behavior of the
characters.
 Highly objective narr...
Perceptual Subjectivity
Narration
 Viewer has access to
the visual and aural
perspective of the
character through the
"po...
Mental Subjectivity Narration
The viewer is plunged into the
character’s mind and
consciousness
Viewer has access to inner...
Motif
 Any significant,
repeated in a film
 Visual or aural
motif
 Plays significant
role in the narrative
or stylistic...
Motif
 Common visual motif
 Aural motif: recurring
melody, a line of
dialogue
 Others: a distinctive
camera movement, a...
Motif
 Common visual motif
 Aural motif: recurring
melody, a line of
dialogue
 Others: a distinctive
camera movement, a...
Motif serves important functions
 Unity: helps unify film by
establishing central issues
and images to which the film
ret...
Motif serves important functions
 Aesthetic Coherence:
provides coherence to
film’s visual style (its
look and texture)
...
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Session 4 film narration: Film Appreciation Course

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Session 4 film narration: Film Appreciation Course

  1. 1. Narration in FilmsNarration in Films Film Principles Bong S. Eliab Ateneo de Davao University
  2. 2. Narration  Plot: distribution of story information to the viewer.  At any point in a given narrative, we can ask ourselves how much we know (as viewers) in relation to the characters on screen.  This relationship can be represented as a hierarchy of knowledge and there are a few important terms we use to express these relationships. Swimming Pool
  3. 3. Range of Narration 1. Unrestricted Narration 2. Restricted Narration Francois Ozon’s Swimming Pool
  4. 4. Unrestricted Narration  When the viewer knows more than any or all of the characters.  Highly unrestricted narration is called omniscient. Swimming Pool
  5. 5. Restricted Narration  When the viewer knows only as much as a single character (usually the protagonist).  Example: Malena, The Road HomeMalena
  6. 6. Depth of Narration 1. Objective Narration 2. Perceptual Subjectivity Narration 3. Mental Subjectivity Narration Swimming Pool
  7. 7. Objective Narration  Viewer’s knowledge is restricted to the external behavior of the characters.  Highly objective narration (in certain forms of documentary, or in the films of Jim Jarmusch, for example) is known as "fly-on-the-wall." Lawrence of Arabia
  8. 8. Perceptual Subjectivity Narration  Viewer has access to the visual and aural perspective of the character through the "point-of-view (POV) shot. Dreamers Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
  9. 9. Mental Subjectivity Narration The viewer is plunged into the character’s mind and consciousness Viewer has access to inner- thoughts (through voice-over narration), dreams, fantasies, visions. Use of flashback scenes Swimming Pool Ludivine Sagnier with Director Francois Ozon
  10. 10. Motif  Any significant, repeated in a film  Visual or aural motif  Plays significant role in the narrative or stylistic system Note the hairclip on The Road Home
  11. 11. Motif  Common visual motif  Aural motif: recurring melody, a line of dialogue  Others: a distinctive camera movement, a prop, a lighting technique, or an abstract theme of idea
  12. 12. Motif  Common visual motif  Aural motif: recurring melody, a line of dialogue  Others: a distinctive camera movement, a prop, a lighting technique, or an abstract theme of idea
  13. 13. Motif serves important functions  Unity: helps unify film by establishing central issues and images to which the film returns again and again.  Allows viewers recall previous moments in the film when that image or idea appeared  Allows filmmaker to help audience identify narrative patterns, connections between characters, events and ideas
  14. 14. Motif serves important functions  Aesthetic Coherence: provides coherence to film’s visual style (its look and texture)  Suggests thematic meanings Julio Medem used high key exposures (increased brightness) for Sex and Lucia

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