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Lecture Note Mar18

Course Code
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

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PHL285: Narrative Hypotheses
March 18th, 2008
1. Is there narrator? (Bordwell vs. Chatman)
! if there is a fictional film is there a narrator responsible for the table that is told?
! sometimes whats happening on the screen is not whats really happening even in the fictional
world (ie. dream sequences in Living in Oblivion, opening sequence in Days for Nights)
2. Stories and Screen-Images
! screen images are not directly related to story (ie. in the case of Memento where there are
scenes of Lenny ether pinching his wife or injecting her with insulin)
! 3:10 to Yuma is told with no complicated screen-images (ie. dream sequences, flash
backs/forwards etc.)
! thus we are lead to understand everything fits into the main story line
! Narrative Hypotheses
Films and Narrators
! assumption is that films don't have narrators they simply show you the screen image in a
specific order
! Bordwell (yes)
! are they are more like novels in the sense that they have narrators that present tales to you?
! or are they more like plays in that they present images are simply present?
! Bordwell argues there is no narrator for the movies and there is no need to suggest such an
additional agency
! the fact that films are no left continually filming with bits and pieces used and not
everything is just the director/editors input
! you don't need narrators in movies
! Chatman (No)
! Bordwell is right in almost everything but you need to add additional points
! Bordwell conceits films contain narratives, but Chatman says there lies the anomaly, there
must be an agency (narrator) to narrate the film
! Thus the cinematic narrator is the agent responsible for showing you these shots in these
orders: ie. the editor