Film Studies Week 3 notes
Key element for screening notes: Look for camera angles. Does the camera film people straight on or is it
titled? Are people seen in close ups, or far away in extreme long shots? Read ahead to chapter on
Syuzhet and Fabula
Syuzhet: the selection an ordering of the actions explicitly presenting on screen (69). Includes the main
plot, subplots and flashbacks
Fabula: the chronological narrative in its entirety, that implicitly stands behinds the events depicted (69).
Includes the characters backstory. *example: the fading out screen when a character is having sex. They
then wake up beside each other the next day indicating what they did.
Three act structure
Act One: Exposition, set up and introduction of the protagonist. Turning point is seen here.
Act Two: Complications, problems arise, often caused by the antagonist. Climax is seen here.
Act Three: Actions leading to the solution and the denouement, or results. Often used to tie up all lose
ends, all problems solved.
o A film may provide closure (problems solved ie: Lion King) or be open ended (problems not
solved, ie: Inception).
Kinning Boother (Matt West, 2013) Example
Act1: Expositions: There’s a line-up for the kissing booth.
o Turning Point: Realize there are two girls to choose from.
Act2: Boy had to choose between two girls.
o Climax: When the boy kisses the other girl
Act3: Old couple, married for 50 years.
Four Part Structure
1. Exposition: introduction of pro and antagonists and their worlds. Initial turning point.
2. Complicating actions: does not lead directly to climax, but to another. Major turning point,
3. Development: character must change goals or face additional struggles. Climax
4. Epilogue: What happened afterwards
Examples: forgetting sarah marshall, pineapple express Episodic narrative
Instead of cause effect structure and build to climax, presents a series of episodes.
In comedy and and animations shorts, episodes may be a series of gags.
o Example: Wile E. Coyote and roadrunner in “the fast and the furry-ous”
In drama, episodes follow a character without a single fixed goal going about their life. (Example, the
400 Blows film)
“A story within a story”
A character tells a story and the films development takes place in flashback or as visualizations.
You can tell multiple stories and give them all meaning.
o Examples: 21, titanic (movie starts off with the exploration of the titanic and then goes into the
story of Rose and Jack), 500 days of summer, the notebook, inception, shutter island
Narrative Structure in City Lights
Is city lights a four part, what are the four parts.
1. Exposition: meet the tramp. Turning Point: Charlie meets Blind girl
2. Complicating actions: Meets rich man, tries to convince blind girl he is rich.
Major turning point: