narrative theory ppt

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  1. 1. By Harry Lee
  2. 2. What is Narrative? Refers to the way the films story is structured the way in which events are ordered and revealed.
  3. 3. The Hermeneutic Code (HER) -The Hermeneutic Code refers to any element of the story that is not fully explained and hence becomes a mystery to the reader. -The full truth is often avoided, for example in: Snares: deliberately avoiding the truth. Equivocations: partial or incomplete answers. Jammings: openly acknowledge that there is no answer to a problem. -The purpose of the author in this is typically to keep the audience guessing, arresting the enigma, until the final scenes when all is revealed and all loose ends are tied off and closure is achieved.
  4. 4. In teen slashers, an enigma used is the motif of the killer. For example: In Chainsaw massacre we as an audience dont know why Leatherface strives to kill everyone he encounter, as an audience it draws us in more because we want to know why Leatherface kills everyone he sees. From an audience point of view we are left guessing who the killer is in teen slasher films, which is the main enigma in Barthes code. For example: In Scream, throughout the film it gives the audiences hints to who the killer may be but it isn't definite. We are intrigued to who the killer is so that the story line can link all the events that has happened during the film (E.g. all the killings).
  5. 5. Todorov thinks that most storys or plot lines follow the same pattern or path. There are 5 stages in this pattern: Todorov proposed a basic structure for all narratives, he stated that films and programmes begin with an equilibrium, this is where the story is at its most calm period, then agents of disruption causes disequilibrium, this is where the story is at an unsettling and disquiet period. This is then follow by a renewed state of peace and harmony for the protagonists and a new equilibrium brings brings the chaos to an end.
  6. 6. Film: Jennifers body 1.Equilibrium- Jennifer and Needy are two high school teenagers, Jennifer is the attractive girl who gets all the boys. Needy is the girl who is classed as a nerd. 2.Disruption of the equilibrium Jennifer gets goes away with other boys, returns but has turned into a succubus(demon). 3 .Recognition of the disruption When Needy realises Jennifer has been killing the boys at her high school and is now after her own boyfriend. 4. Repairing the damage caused by disruption - Needy tries to stop Jennifer from killing her boyfriend. 5. New equilibrium - Needy has created problems for herself as she fails to save her boyfriend and ends up in a mental institution because everyone thought she was insane about Jennifer being a demon killing boys.
  7. 7. Vladimir Propp studied hundred of folktales and found they contained 8 character types and 31 functions that move the story along. The 31 functions include events such as : -The hero is prohibited from doing something -The villain learns something about the victim -The villain is punished -The hero is awarded for his actions (Depending on what type of film it is) -Etc
  8. 8. In Teen Slashers, it is very hard to distinguish the character types such as: Donor, Princess, False hero, etc However, in most Slashers, the Villain is displayed and revealed during the film. For example in the film Chainsaw Massacre, the Villain is revealed to be Leatherface who is a psychotic butcher who kills his victims with a chainsaw. However, in some Teen slashers, the Villain is shown but not revealed, for example: In Scream 4, the audience does not know who the killer is throughout the film, the audience would have ideas on who the killer is but they are not for sure that a specific person in the film is the killer.
  9. 9. Levi-Strauss suggested that binary oppositions are key to the meaning making in narrative - he argued the constant creation of conflict and opposition narrative, and that narrative can only end on a resolution of conflict. Note: It is important to note that we judge one half of each binary opposition in a more negative way. There the meanings of the binaries are ideological as they are culturally constructed.
  10. 10. In Teen Slasher films, we can apply the Binary opposition. For example: In the film Halloween, we can apply the Boy vs Girl opposition because during the film, Michael Myers, who is the killer in this slasher kills his own sister, Judith. Another Binary opposition that Teen Slashers have is the Good vs Evil, this would be the main opposition that is implemented in majority of Teen Slashers. For example: In the Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), the Good would be Nancy Thompson and her group of friends who are just your typical teenagers and the Evil would be Freddy Krueger who gradually kills all of Nancys friends in their dreams.