Closed Narratives 1. The audience is aware that they are watching a complete story; so watching with the likely ending in mind More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 2. There is a small number of central characters; ‘depth’ of audience knowledge often set up More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 3. Characters arranged in a ‘hierarchy’ of importance More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 4. Audiences invited to make ‘verdicts’ on the characters More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 5. Unlike Open Narratives, time is compressed and not with the ‘real time’ More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 6. Times and events are usually special to this particular story and not linked to the outside world. More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 7. Audience usually has evidence about the characters only from this single text – plus star, publicity and genre expectations More relevant to films and cinema
Propp Theory Vladimir Propp developed a character theory for studying media texts, which indicates that there were 7 broad character types in the 100 tales he analysed, which could be applied to other media Certain characters are linked to certain elements in predictable ways – he calls these the ‘spheres of action’ Propp assumes a linear narrative which makes flashbacks problematic
Barthes Theory Barthes’ Enigma Code The narrative will establish enigmas or mysteries as it goes along. Essentially the narrative functions to establish and then solve these mysteries.
eg Coronation Street reaching its fifteeth year Narrative function – eg this weeks villain may become next weeks hero... Christmas day programmes are shown on Christmas day – also references to events happening in the ‘real world’ eg the election Audiences are assumed to have different kinds of memory, and knowledge of a long running soap. Magazines, television, the press often speculate about actors’ contracts and thus the fate of characters.
‘ Tight’ reading involved; audience aware it’s watching a complete story and therefore reading with the likely end in mind
Depth set up with interior voice-overs giving characters’ thoughts, hallucinations etc.
Often with audience invited to make ‘verdicts’ on them, identifying narrative roles as in hero, villain, victim
Time usually very compressed: typical two hours of screen time constructs events as happening over months , years, sometimes centuries
Times and events are usually special to this particular story, and need have no resemblance to the viewer’s world, through specific reference is possible as are flashback and flash forwards.
Vladimir Propp developed a character theory for studying media texts, which indicates that there were 7 broad character types in the 100 tales he analysed, which could be applied to other media Certain characters (animate or inanimate) are linked to certain elements in predictable ways – he calls these the ‘spheres of action’ Propp assumes a linear narrative which makes flashbacks problematic because it disturbs the linear narrative – link to postmondernism
The villain (struggles against the hero) The donor (prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object The (magical) helper (helps the hero in the quest) The princess (person who the hero marries, often sought sought for during the narrative) Her Father The Dispatcher (character who makes the lack known and sends the hero off) The hero or victim/seeker hero, reacts to the donor, weds the princess
Todorov proposed a basic structure for all narratives. He stated that films and programmes begin with an equilibrium, a calm period. Then agents of disruption cause disequilibrium, a period of unsettlement and disquiet. This is then followed by a renewed state of peace and harmony for the protagonists and a new equilibrium brings the chaos to an end. The simplest form of narrative (sometimes referred to as ‘Classic’ or ‘Hollywood’ narrative.
Barthes’ Enigma Code The narrative will establish enigmas or mysteries as it goes along. Essentially the narrative functions to establish and then solve these mysteries.
The Voiceover (including words on screen) is one of the most frequently used conventions of the trailer genre. It is used for several reasons: Helps the audience to make sense of the narrative by giving us background, such as where the action is set It showcases the stars appearing in the film Gives information about the filmmakers behind the film such as the director and producer and their previous work Helps to build a sense of anticipation about the films release Sets the tone for the film Can summarise the story in between 5-8 lines. It does not give away the ending but helps us.
The voiceover is used for creative effect – eg. Dialogue from film, so the characters narrate it.
The voiceover is used for a comic device
This trailer is unusual as it is narrated by a women – Melissa Disney
No voice over
Parallel Action: Aspects within the context of a story that are happening simultaneously with the primary performer’s situation. The technique is employed in the editing process where the projected image goes band and forth between the primary and secondary scene. Polysemy: The ambiguity of an individual word or phrase that can be used (in different contexts) to express two or more different meanings
Continuity editing: A predominant style of editing in narrative cinema and television The purpose is to smooth over the inherent discontinuity of the editing process and to establish a logical coherence between shots. Most film sequences are edited so that time seems to flow, uninterrupted, from shot to shot. Multi-strand Narrative: Telling a story from more than one person’s point of view or two stories of two different people that intertwine. Non-linear Narrative: ‘ Disjointed’ or ‘disrupted’ narrative is a narrative technique. Sometimes used in literature, film, hypertext websites and other narratives, where events are portrayed out of chronological order. Often used to mimic the structure and recall of human memory but has been applied for other reasons.