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Lecture 2

Film Studies Week 2.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Film Studies
Katherine Spring

January 14 2013 Film Studies Week 2 Narrative Form and Classical Hollywood Cinema Narrative Form Definition of Film Form Narrative Elements – tell the story (actions of characters, scenes ordering) Stylistic Elements- visual devices (camera move`ment, sound effects) Film Form – organization of elements and how they are related. A way in which these interactions have a framework Film is a formal system, because elements are arranged in a way to serve a purpose Principles of Film Form - Functions: the role or effect of any element in a film’s form (how would the plot differ in the absence of the element) (the mob causes Don to meet Kathy) o Most elements have more than one function o Over the rainbow (Wizard of Oz) – commercial function and story function. Went on to be a hit song, and contributed to the story plot - Repetition/Variation: Motif. Appearance vs. reality is motif in Singing in the Rain o Usually motif has variations, to keep it interesting (Don’s white outfits throughout the film) - Development : four-act structure - Unity/Disunity: narrative closure in Singing in the Rain opposed to absence of narrative closure in Pulp Fiction Narrative Elements - Story/plot: Not synonymous terms o story (fabula)- sum total of all events that are explicitly presented and that the viewer infers o diegesis: the world of the story o diegetic: Belonging to the world of the story o Plot (syuzhet): All of the visual and sonic material presented explicitly on the screen o Non-diegetic – not belonging to the world of the story (e.g. background music) January 14 2013 Presumed and inferred events Story (fabula) Explicitly presented events Added, non-diegetic material Plot (syuzhet) Ellipsis: period of time between events - Characters (agents): Drive the story. o Motivation: the central cause behind a characters actions o Characterization: The process of conveying information about characters - Structure: Have a beginning, middle and end.
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