Film Narrative Part 3 (2016)Apunte Inglés
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THE NARRATIVE DEVICE. THE METAPHOR.
The most important thing is to be good at using metaphor. This is the one thing that cannot be learnt from someone else, and is a sign of a natural. (Aristotle, The Poetics).
1. Introduction to Narrative devices.
They are tools and resources that writers, playwrights and screenwriters have in order to construct their stories. Without them, stories would be reduced to a succession of events. In a way, we can look at Narrative devices as the source of life for a narrative piece of work. Thinkers and theorists have been writing about narrative devices for many centuries, in different areas of writing, form poetry to drama.
Some of the most important ones are alliteration, hyperbole, onomatopoeia... Metaphors are possibly the most important literary device.
2. Metaphor as narrative device.
- A metaphor is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common.
- The word 'meta-phora' comes from Greek and means 'to transfer'. It does indeed operate as a transference of meanings, as one thing stands for another as well as for itself. A metaphor combines both a literal and symbolic levels of meaning. It is the concurrent existence of both levels of meaning winch gives metaphors their power.
- A metaphor expresses the unfamiliar (the tenor) in terms of the familiar (The vehicle). When Neil Young signs, 'Love is a rose', 'rose' is the vehicle for 'love', the tenor. The tenor is LOVE and the vehicle is the ROSE.
- According to Aristotle, handling metaphors is, essentially, 'a matter or perceiving similarities'. Our example is the story 'the Greenhouse effect'.
-The literal versus the metaphorical meaning --> the metaphor must be strongly credible, and it must feel original. It's about making the reader connect the dots.
-The deeper symbolism. If the metaphorical meaning of the vehicle includes or is close to a deeper symbolism (the proverbial resonance) the metaphor will be stronger.
-The proverbial resonance --> people in greenhouses shouldn't throw stones. Associations between different metaphors.
-The balance between the literal and the symbolic. As long as the balance of significance is right, the obviousness helps rather than hinders the process of understanding an emotional involvement.
3. Running imagery.
An image with metaphorical resonance may have just momentary impact in a story, or its meaning may be explored time and again throughout the story.. When symbolic imagery is threaded right through a piece of Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 drama, it can serve to underline and illuminate the emotional significance of the story for both its characters, and, by associations, its viewers. Examples: 1) In My life as a dog the use of seasons, changing weather are used to mirror the state of play.
2) In American Beauty the rose is used as a symbol for several feelings and emotions: love, romance, sexuality, beauty, blood, danger, a thorny person or situation, etcetera. The very title is itself the name of a very popular variety of American rose.
THE NARRATIVE DEVICE II. METONYMY. ESTRANGMENT. ALIENATION AND DISTANCE.
I. Metonymy A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated (for instance, crown for royalty). Since it can be very visual, it is one of the most important narrative devices in media narratives.
Metonymy is also the rhetorical strategy of describing something indirectly by referring to things around it, such as describing someone's clothing to characterize the individual. Ex:' She loves the bottle.' = she drinks.
So, what's the difference between metaphor and metonymy? In contrast to the metaphor, metonymy signifies and object by naming a subordinated object that has a real (spatial, temporal or causal) relation to the intended one: for example, 'reading Freud' for 'reading books by Freud'.
Synecdoche: a special metonymic construction that names a part of an object/person to refer to the whole (or vice versa), as in 'Spain lost by six points' or 'the hospital hilled him'.
The dichotomy metaphor/metonymy draws attention to the basic difference between perception and thought: while metonymy requires no qualitative change and keeps a contingency between signifier and signified, the metaphor demands a change of the semantic plane and so causes a break in reality that can only be bridged by a cognitive process. Metonymy is a particular case of metaphor. Metaphor makes you work in different levels.
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 II. Estrangement.
Estrangement is a narrative device that forces the spectator to think about what might have been an ordinary piece of writing about a common life experience in a more thoughtful way.
To put it simply, estrangement uses one type of language (sometimes even its jargon=jerga) and applies in a context or situation where it does not originally belongs.
When addressed in a language of estrangement, speech cannot be skimmed through. According to Eagleton, 'in the routines of everyday speech, our perceptions of and responses to reality become stale, blunted, and as the Formalist would say 'automatized'. Literature by forcing us into a dramatic awareness of language, refreshes these habitual responses and renders objects more perceptible ('What Is Literature').
This determines the style of the film, the final product.
Problems: this is to obvious, this is strange...
Ex: language of western applied to the burocracy and paper work world (short film 036). Animals in cartoons, this is not estrangement, just personification of human personality until the point we forget that they are animals.
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 III. Alienation and distance.
The distancing effect or alienation effect is a term that comes from the world of the performing arts.
Bertolt Brecht's theater aim at preventing the audience from losing itself passively in the characters and situations created by the actor, and at leading the audience to be a consciously critical observer. Distance offers the minimal elements of the story, and still presents the story, you make the spectator construct the story. You only give the ingredients, and the spectators will cook the story. (ex: Dogville - Lars Von Trier). In this case, with the camera movements, the spectator, gets closer to the characters and to the film, as if we were there.
The distancing effect can be achieved by the way the 'artist never acts as if there were a fourth wall besides the three surrounding him. The audience can no longer have the illusion of being the unseen spectator at an event which is really taking place. ' One way of disrupting stage illusion and generating the distancing effect is the use of direct audienceaddress. In theatre, the performer can be aware of where he is, the space that surrounds him... In cinema, the clearest case is when the actor looks at the camera. There can be two level of distance: -By disclosing and making obvious the manipulative contrivances and fictive qualities of the medium, the viewer is alienated from any passive acceptance and enjoyment of the narrative as an act of mere entertainment. The viewer is, instead, taken into a critical and analytical level that serves to distract him of the notion that what he is watching is necessarily an immutable and self-contained narrative.