What is narrative?
A narrative is a work of speech that describes events that are either fictional or non-fictional within writing, song, film, television, photography or theatre. For media, it is film. A narrative tells a story and a story is an important aspect of culture and society. When trying to figure out the meaning of the narrative we have to consider the conventions of the Genre, Character, Form and time.
Why is narrative important?
Narrative is the way humans communicate information with each other. It varies between magazines, newspapers and even films. If a narrative isn't present then the audience will not be interested and will not read/watch the text, and those that do read/watch will not have enough interest to keep them entertained.
The three narrative theories:
Vladimir Propp is a Russian critic and literary theorist, he analysed Russian fairytales in the 1920's and came up with a theory that the characters can be categorised into roles according to their actions, the roles are listed below:
The hero - The good guy, is after a reward.
The villain - The bad guy who opposes the hero.
The donor - Helps the hero by giving something useful such as information/weapons.
The dispatcher - Sends the hero away.
The false hero - Acts as the hero but isn't.
The helper - Supports the hero.
The princess - The reward for the hero, often includes love and romance.
Her father - The father of the princess.
Tzvetan Todorov is a Bulgarian literary theorist and his theory is that in the narrative life starts off normal and everyone is happy, this is a state of equilibrium. This 'normal life' is then disrupted and the characters then have to fight against this disruption in order to return to their normal life's.
Equilibrium -> Dis-equilibrium -> New Equilibrium
Claude Levi-Strauss is a social Anthropologist who studied myths of tribal cultures and studied how stories unconsciously reflect the beliefs and myths of a culture. Binary Oppositions are used to express this, which reflects a conflict between two qualities/terms, some of the examples are shown below:
Male vs Female
Good vs Bad
Hero vs Villain
The most useful for my film opening:
The most useful for my film opening in my opinion is the Tzvetan Todorov theory as we can show the main character living his normal day-to-day life and show how it changes when he gets arrested. Throughout the opening we can show how its effecting his life and how his figting for him to get his life back. This would be effective as it would create sympathy for the character and get the audience on side.