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Lecture 2

FS 101 Week 2

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Film Studies
Katherine Spring

January 14 , 2013 2 Narrative Form and Classical Hollywood Cinema Narrative Form  Definition of Film Form (a collection of elements): A system of relationships among elements. – arranged in a particular to tell a story, thwart expectations and confuse you, argue point etc. o Narrative elements  Tell the story  The actions of the CHARACTERS  Scenes depicted on screen, their order  Organized in order to engage our interest, chronological order usually, so you can understand? Not looper, eternal sunshine…, inception, lost etc., KILLERS, relies heavily on flashbacks so we can MENTALLY construct the story. Film provides us with cues so we can arrange the scenes in chronological order in our mind and piece together a narrative. o Stylistic Elements (week 3 and 5)  Visual and sonic devices through which a film tells a story  Background music, patterns  Camera angle  Lighting  Subject: 9/11  Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) o Documentary form (voiceover, interviews)  United 93 (2006) o Narrative form (story, actors, causeeffect, plot)  Principles of Film Form o Function: the role or effect of any element in a films form.  How would the plot differ in the absence of the element? o No flat tire, no mob, no escape, protagonists don’t meet!  Singing in the rain: cosmos car suffering a flat tireleading up to a swarming mob to form around the cardon has to escape, and lands in Kathy Seldin’s car! Meets her.  Most elements multiple functions: i.e. somewhere over the rainbow judy garland: commercial (sell the song on records), establish dorothys desire to leave home, anticipate her entry into the colourful world of Oz. o Reptition/Variation  When an element if repeated across the film, it’s called a MOTIF. o Wizard of Oz: “we’re off to see the wizard” o Singin’ in the Rain:  the theme of appearance vs reality,  don’s varies costumes  white at beginning as arrogant  becomes more human, down to earth, wears darker clothing, changes in profession and personal life o Development  E.g. Four-Act Structure o Unity/Disunity  E.g. unity, narrative closure  E.g. distunity, makes us ask questions, sequels  Pulp fiction, complete disunity, no nutritive cl
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