Friday, 14 September 2007

Fun with Narratology

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.

Pip pip!

9 comments:

Lucy said...

You say the nicest things Chipster. But that doesn't mean I haven't taken your script down and chopped its squealing head off. Blood! Blood!

Chip Smith said...

Firstly, you think my script is 'mental' - you then go on to describe me as an aging goth with 'suspicous chickens'! I'm forming a mental image of myself that is probably going to keep me awake at night!

Jon Peacey said...

What on earth are 'suspicious chickens'? Chickens that you'd not want to cross on a moonless night or Chickens that cluck around in deerstalkers tutting about about the machinations of Professor Moriarty? ;-)

Chip Smith said...

Whatever they are, Jon, I think we need to call in Angela Lansbury (in her 'Murder She Wrote' guise) to clear things up! Failing that, we could always ask Lucy, but on the basis of the belo, I think she's lost it!

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3088772136794609539&postID=6928797809082695056

Lucy said...

You think my "losing it" is a RECENT occurrence???

Did a better job of faking sanity than I thought, obviously...

Oli said...

You are an ageing goth! I knew it!

Not to flex my ego too much, but the New York Times is jumping on my band wagon. What? They are.

Oli said...

Sorry, the regular Times.

Chip Smith said...

Oli - I saw the kicking you administered to Death Proof a while back, which is why I was going to give it a wide berth. I wasn't a huge fan of Kill Bill, and it looks like Quentin's Endless Dialogue Generator is going hell for leather in Death Proof as well.

And hey, knock it off with the 'ageing goth' tag! I have other CDs in my collection other than Bauhaus you know! Such as Siouxsie, Cocteau Twins, The Cure, NIN, Trail of Dead, er.... yeah, OK, point taken.

Oli said...

Hurrah! I have influenced opinion!

There's nothing wrong with a bit of Cure, by the way. Like a bit of The Cure.