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Film Narrative

In our discussion of form, we said that a film’s form included both narrative and stylistic elements. In this session we are going to focus on the narrative elements.

Humans are ‘the storytelling animal’ – it is through stories that we make sense of ourselves and the world around us. When we speak about films we, more often than not, mean narrative films – films that tell a story. Because stories are all around us (in life, literature, other films) we will approach a narrative film with a great many existing expectations. Further expectations will be aroused as we actively participate in creation of the film’s form: the ending has the task of satisfying or cheating the expectations prompted by the film as a whole. This session will consider how narrative form engages the viewer in this dynamic activity.