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Film Art:

The River

The Wizrd of Oz

Narrative as a Formal System in Films

"What's the story?"

What? | Plotlines | Sequences

" films may embody narrative form"

...."–a film that tells a story."

"Narrative is a fundamental way that humans make sense of the world."

"Because stories are all around us, spectators approach a narrative film with definite expectations."

"Stories surround us."

"We can't escape even by going to sleep since we often experience our dreams as little narratives


"What is Narrative?"

"We can consider a narrative to be a chain of events linked by cause and effect and occurring in time and space."

"causality and time are essential."

"how important causailty, space and time are to narrative form."

p. 79.

What? | Plotlines | Sequences

Plot and Story

"The set of all events in a narrative...constitutes the story."

1) explicitly presented

2) those inferred by the audience

"The term plot is used to describe everything visibly and audibly present in the film (script, or book) before us."

p. 80.

"All we have before us is the plot–the arragemet ofmaterial in the film as it stands."

"We create the story in our minds on the basis of the cues in the plot."

pp. 81-82.

"In general, teh spectator actively seeks to connect events by means of cause and effect."

p. 83.

"The plot may also present causes but withold story effects, prompting suspense and uncertainty in the viewer."

"Temporal order

"Temporal duration

"Temporal frequency --"may allow us to see the same action in several ways."

p. 86

"From the very start, we are given a god's-eye-view of the action."

p. 112

situation unfolds scene by scene to create

". . .a patterned narration that arouses curiosity and suspense...."

p. 113

bok David Bordwell & Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction.

New York: McGraw Hill, 2010. 9th Edition.

What? | Plotlines | Sequences