In yesterday’s Times, right next to a demolition job on Death Proof (Tarantino’s latest effort), there’s this from Pete Daly. Bearing in mind Lucy’s latest series on Structure, the only advice that Pete gives is that your movie should have a beginning, middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order (nice to know that things haven’t really changed since Aristotle, although Philip Larkin did paraphrase this slightly as “a beginning, a muddle and an end”).
Although there are opposing views to this, I guess that this piece of ‘advice’ is a good starting point for anyone looking for a wider discussion on structure.
That said, I think I’ll follow the debate over at Lucy’s for the time being. The problem with me and structure is that I can only think in terms of specific examples, and not from an overview perspective at all (which Lucy does so brilliantly). I might post some stuff on Full Metal Jacket at some point, which can certainly be said to have a beginning, middle and end, but it achieves this in what is in effect a two act structure. In addition, I think that Full Metal Jacket is a film completely obsessed with structure, not just in its narrative, but also in its visual style and thematic concerns as well.
Anyway, my word for today is Narratology.