ENG100H1 Chapter Notes -Studio System, Narratology, Unreliable Narrator

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Chapter 6 Telling Stories: Narrative Films
story the subject matter or raw material of a narrative, or our reconstruction of the events of a narrative based on what is explicitly
shown and ordered in the plot
characters individuals who motivate the events and perform the actions of the story
plot the narrative ordering of the events of the story as they appear in the actual work, selected and arranged according to
particular temporal, spatial, generic, casual, or other patterns; in narratology, also known by the Russian word syuzhet
narratology the study of narrative forms, encompassing stories of all kinds, including films; from Russian narratology are derived
the terms fabula (story), all the events included in a tale or imagined by the reader or viewer in the order in which they are assumed
to have occurred, and syuzhet (plot), the ordering of narrative events in the particular narrative
classical film narrative a style of narrative filmmaking centered on one or more central characters who propel the plot with a
cause-and-effect logic wherein an action generates a reaction; normally plots are developed with linear chronologies directed at
definite goals, and the film employs an omniscient or a restricted third-person narration that suggests some degree of verisimilitude
character coherence a quality created within a fiction of characters displaying behaviour, emotions, and thoughts that appear
consistent and coherent
character depth a quality created within a fiction of characters displaying psychological and social features that distinguish them
as rounded and complex in a way that approximates realistic human personalities
protagonist individuals identified as the positive forces in a film
antagonist characters who oppose the protagonists as negative forces
archetype an original model or type, such as Satan as an archetype of evil
stereotype a character type that simplifies and standardizes perceptions that one group holds about another, often less numerous,
powerful, or privileged group
character development the patterns through which characters in a particular film move from one mental, physical, or social state
to another
diegesis a term that refers to the world of the film’s story (its characters, places, and events), including not only what is shown but
also what is implied to have taken place; it comes from the Greek word meaning “narration”
credits a list at the end of a film of all the personnel involved in a film production, including cast, crew, and executives
linear chronology plot events and actions that proceed one after another as a forward movement in time
deadline structure a narrative structure that accelerates the action and plot toward a central event or action that must be
accomplished by a certain time
narrative frequency how often certain plot elements are repeated
narration the telling of a story or description of a situation; the emotional, physical, or intellectual perspective through which the
characters, events, and action of the plot are conveyed; in film, narration is most explicit when provided as asynchronous verbal
commentary on the action or images, but it can also designate the storytelling function of the camera, the editing, and verbal and
other soundtracks
first-person narration narration that is identified with a single individual, typically (though not always) a character in the film
third-person narration a narration that assumes an objective and detached stance vis-à-vis the plot and characters, describing
events from outside the story
narrative frame a context or person positioned outside the principal narrative of a film, such as bracketing scenes in which a
character in the story’s present begins to relate events of the past and later concludes her or his tale
omniscient narration narration that presents all elements of the plot, exceeding the perspective of any one character
restricted narration a narrative in which our knowledge is limited to that of a particular character
reflexive narration a mode of narration that calls attention to the narrative point of view of the story in order to complicate or
subvert its own narrative authority as an objective perspective on the world
unreliable narration (manipulative narration) a type of narration that raises questions about the truth of the story being told
multiple narrations found in films that use several different narrative perspectives for a single story or for different stories in a
movie that loosely fits these perspectives together
classical Hollywood narrative the dominant form of classical film narrative associated with the Hollywood studio system from the
end of the 1910s to the end of the 1950s
postclassical narrative a term used to characterize the cinema after the decline of the studio system around 1960
alternative film narrative film narratives that deviate from or challenge the linearity of classical film narrative, often undermining
the centrality of the main character, the continuity of the plot, or the verisimilitude of the narration