Narrative Theory
Media Studies AS
Narrative:
the way in which a story is told in
both fictional and non-fictional
media texts.
Vladimir Propp
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Russian critic and literary theorist.
Analysed over 100 Russian fairytales in the 1920s.
He propos...
Propp’s Character Roles
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The hero (seeks something)
The villain (opposes the hero)
The donor (helps the her...
Tzvetan Todorov
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Bulgarian literary theorist
Suggests most narratives start with a state of
equilibrium in which...
Equilibrium
Disequilibrium
Attempted Repair
New Equilibrium
Equilibrium
New
Equilibrium
Disequilibrium
Attempted
Repair
Roland Barthes
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French semiologist.
Suggested that narrative works with
different codes which activate the
reader to m...
Barthes’ Codes
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Denote – what the audience sees encoded by the
director
Connote – what the audience decode it t...
Claude Levi-Strauss
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Social Anthropologist.
Studied myths of tribal cultures.
Examined how stories unconscious...
Binary Oppositions
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A conflict between two things – often
opposites.
For example 1970’s Western films:
Homesteaders
N...
Task:
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Apply the key narrative theorists to the
a thriller opening sequence
Propp
Barthes
Todorov
Levi-Strauss
Thriller Film is a genre that revolves around anticipation and
suspense. The aim for Thrillers is to keep the audience ale...
Conventional characters
Serial killers, Psychopath
Ordinary couple
Frustrated protagonist
Lighting
Sound
Camera work
(s...
HMK this week

Complete the 2 class analyses

Using media language and key theories
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Narrative theories and thriller conventions as

Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Entertainment & Humor      Education      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Narrative theories and thriller conventions as

  • 1. Narrative Theory Media Studies AS
  • 2. Narrative: the way in which a story is told in both fictional and non-fictional media texts.
  • 3. Vladimir Propp - - - Russian critic and literary theorist. Analysed over 100 Russian fairytales in the 1920s. He proposed that it was possible to classify the characters and their actions into clearly defined roles and functions. Films such as Star Wars fit Propp’s model precisely, but a a significant number of more recent films such as Pulp Fiction do not. The model is useful, however as it highlights the similarities between seemingly quite different stories.
  • 4. Propp’s Character Roles        The hero (seeks something) The villain (opposes the hero) The donor (helps the hero by providing a magic object) The dispatcher (sends the hero on his way) The false hero (falsely assuming the role of hero) The helper (gives support to the hero) The princess (the reward for the hero, but also needs protection from the villain)
  • 5. Tzvetan Todorov     Bulgarian literary theorist Suggests most narratives start with a state of equilibrium in which life is ‘normal’ and protagonists happy. This state of normality is disrupted by an outside force, which has to be fought against in order to return to a state of equilibrium. This model can easily be applied to a wide range of films.
  • 6. Equilibrium Disequilibrium Attempted Repair New Equilibrium Equilibrium New Equilibrium Disequilibrium Attempted Repair
  • 7. Roland Barthes   French semiologist. Suggested that narrative works with different codes which activate the reader to make sense of it.
  • 8. Barthes’ Codes     Denote – what the audience sees encoded by the director Connote – what the audience decode it to mean Action – a narrative device by which a resolution is produced through action, e.g. a shoot-out. Enigma – a narrative device that teases the audience by presenting a puzzle or riddle to be solved. Works to delay the story’s ending pleasurably.
  • 9. Claude Levi-Strauss      Social Anthropologist. Studied myths of tribal cultures. Examined how stories unconsciously reflect the values, beliefs and myths of a culture. These are usually expressed in the form of binary oppositions . His research has been adapted by media theorists to reveal underlying themes and symbolic oppositions in media texts.
  • 10. Binary Oppositions   A conflict between two things – often opposites. For example 1970’s Western films: Homesteaders Native Americans christian pagan domestic savage weak strong garden wilderness inside society outside society
  • 11. Task:  Apply the key narrative theorists to the a thriller opening sequence Propp Barthes Todorov Levi-Strauss
  • 12. Thriller Film is a genre that revolves around anticipation and suspense. The aim for Thrillers is to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats. The protagonist in these films is set against a problem – an escape, a mission, or a mystery. No matter what sub-genre a Thriller film falls into, it will emphasize the danger that the protagonist faces. The tension with the main problem is built on throughout the film and leads to a highly stressful climax. As media students you need to know HOW to achieve this?
  • 13. Conventional characters Serial killers, Psychopath Ordinary couple Frustrated protagonist Lighting Sound Camera work (shots and Non-diegetic – music – progressive, movement) mysterious, low notes, high string instruments, violins – back chilling Short takes, Sound effects – rain, screams, fast pace, POV heartbeats, explosions, hyperbolic shots, extreme sounds – punches, kicks – foley close ups, No non-diegetic sound to aid close ups realism Locations Narrative Low key lighting Flashing/strobe – confusion/danger Cities, populated places, urban settings - chaos Common effects Common themes Slow motion Flash cuts, wash ins, wash outs Flash backs, flash forwards True story, isolation, loss, death, murder, stalkers, assassins, espionage, hostage, ransom, investigation, Linear, omniscient Non-linear, restricted Iconography Guns, conflict, powerful supporting character, dim lighting
  • 14. HMK this week  Complete the 2 class analyses  Using media language and key theories

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