Looking at Movies (3rd ed) Chapter 4
Used in English 1130 at Langara with Blacklock.
Terms in this set (48)
The major character whose values or behavior are in conflict with those of the protagonist.
An essential element of film narrative; any of the beings who play functional roles within the plot, either acting or being acted on. Characters can be flat or round; major, minor, or marginal; protagonists or antagonists.
The process of the actor's interpreting a character in a movie. Characterization differs according to the actor, the character, the screenplay, and the director.
Accepted systems, methods, or customs by which movies communicate. Cinematic conventions are flexible; they are not "rules."
The imaginary time in which a movie's images appear or its narrative occurs; time that has been manipulated through editing. Compare real time.
The narrative's turning point, marking the transition between rising action and falling action.
The resolution or conclusion of the narrative.
diegesis (adj. diegetic)
The total world of a story—the events, characters, objects, settings, and sounds that form the world in which the story occurs.
An element—event, character, object, setting, sound—that helps form the world in which the story occurs. Compare nondiegetic element.
The time a movie takes to unfold onscreen. For any movie, we can identify three specific kinds of duration: story duration, plot duration, and screen duration. Duration has two related components: real time and cinematic time.
The images, action, and dialogue necessary to give the audience the background of the characters and the nature of their situation, laying the foundation for the rest of the narrative.
The events that follow the climax and bring the narrative to conclusion (denouement). Compare rising action.
Any image that a director periodically repeats in a movie (with or without variations) to help stabilize the narrative.
Narration by an actual character in the movie. Compare voice-over narration.
A character that is one-dimensional and easily remembered because his or her motivations and actions are predictable. Flat characters may be major, minor, or marginal characters. Compare round character.
The event or situation during the exposition stage of the narrative that sets the rest of the narrative in motion.
One of the main characters in a movie. Major characters make the most things happen or have the most things happen to them. Compare minor character and marginal character.
A minor character that lacks both definition and screen time.
A supporting character in a movie. Minor characters have fewer traits than major characters, so we know less about them. They may also be so lacking in definition and screen time that we can consider them marginal characters.
The commentary spoken by either offscreen or onscreen voices, frequently used in narrative films, where it may emanate from an omniscient voice (and thus not one of the characters) or from a character in the movie. There are two main types of narration: firstperson narration and voice-over narration.
A cinematic structure in which content is selected and arranged in a cause-and-effect sequence of events occurring over time.
Also known as fiction film. A movie that tells a story—with characters, places, and events—that is conceived in the mind of the film's creator. Stories in narrative films may be wholly imaginary or based on true occurrences, and they may be realistic, unrealistic, or both. Compare nonfiction film.
A voice that helps tell the story. The narrator may be either a character in the movie or a person who is not a character.
Something that we see and hear on the screen that comes from outside the world of the story (including background music, titles and credits, and voice-over narration). Compare diegetic element.
Providing a third-person view of all aspects of a movie's action or characters. Compare restricted.
The arrangement of plot events into a logical sequence or hierarchy. Across an entire narrative or in a brief section of it, any film can use one or more methods to arrange its plot: chronological order, cause-and-effect order, logical order, and so on.
A structure for presenting everything that we see and hear in a film, with an emphasis on causality, consisting of two factors: (a) the arrangement of the diegetic events in a certain order or structure and (b) added nondiegetic material. See diegesis and nondiegetic elements. Compare narrative and story.
The elapsed time of the events within a story that a film chooses to tell. Compare screen duration and story duration.
The major character who serves as the "hero" and who "wins" the conflict. Compare antagonist.
The actual time during which something takes place. In real time, screen duration and plot duration are exactly the same. Many directors use real time within films to create uninterrupted "reality" on the screen, but they rarely use it for entire films. Compare cinematic time, stretch relationship, and summary relationship.
The number of times that a story element recurs in a plot. Repetition signals that a particular event has noteworthy meaning or significance.
Providing a view from the perspective of a single character. For example, restricted narration reveals information to the audience only as a specific character learns of it. Compare omniscient.
The development of the action of the narrative toward a climax. Compare falling action.
Also known as scenario. The next step after a treatment, the rough-draft screenplay results from discussions, development, and transformation of an outline in sessions known as story conferences.
A character that is threedimensional, unpredictable, complex, and capable of surprising us in a convincing way. Round characters may be major or minor characters. Compare flat character.
A film's running time. Compare plot duration and story duration.
The time and space in which a story takes place.
A guide and reference point for all members of the production unit, in which the details of each shot are listed and can thus be followed during filming.
In a movie, all the events we see or hear on the screen, and all the events that are implicit or that we infer to have happened but that are not explicitly presented. Compare diegesis, narrative, and plot.
A scene-by-scene (sometimes shot-by-shot) breakdown that combines sketches or photographs of how each shot is to look and written descriptions of the other elements that are to go with each shot, including dialogue, sound, and music.
One of any number of sessions during which the treatment is discussed, developed, and transformed from an outline into a rough-draft screenplay.
The amount of time that the implied story takes to occur. Compare plot duration and screen duration.
A time relationship in which screen duration is longer than plot duration. Compare real time and summary relationship.
A subordinate sequence of action in a narrative, usually relevant to and enriching the plot.
A time relationship in which screen duration is shorter than plot duration. Compare real time and stretch relationship.
The anxiety brought on by partial uncertainty: the end is certain, but the means are not. Compare surprise.
Also known as synopsis. An outline of the action that briefly describes the essential ideas and structure for a film.
Narration heard concurrently and over a scene but not synchronized to any character who may be talking on the screen. It can come from many sources, including an objective narrator (who is not a character) bringing us up-to-date, a first-person narrator commenting on the action, or, in a nonfiction film, a commentator. Compare first-person narration.