Chapter 4 Film
Terms in this set (41)
The act of telling the story of the film. The primary source of a movie's narration is the camera, which narrates the story by showing us the events of the narrative on-screen.
Who or what tells the story of a film.
first person narration
Narration by an actual character in the movie. Compare voice-over narration.
Narration heard concurrently and over a scene but not synchronized to any character who may be talking on the screen, commentator
A form of narration in which an on-screen character looks and speaks directly to the audience.
Narration delivered from outside of the diegesis by a narrator who is not a character in the movie.
Providing a third-person view of all aspects of a movie's action or characters. Compare restricted.
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.
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.
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.
A narratively significant objective pursued by the protagonist.
A complex character possessing numerous, subtle, repressed, or contradictory traits. Round characters often develop over the course of a story.
A relatively uncomplicated character exhibiting few distinct traits. Flat characters do not change significantly as the story progresses.
An outwardly unsympathetic protagonist pursuing a morally objectionable or otherwise undesirable goal.
Events, circumstances, and actions that impede a protagonist's pursuit of the goal. Obstacles often originate from an antagonist and are central to a narrative conflict.
In a narrative screenplay, the state of the character and setting before the inciting incident.
The event or situation during the exposition stage of the narrative that sets the rest of the narrative in motion. Also known as the inciting incident.
The character, creature, or force that obstructs or resists the protagonist's pursuit of their goal.
In a conventional narrative, that which is at risk as a consequence of the protagonist's pursuit of the goal.
The development of the action of the narrative toward a climax. Compare falling action.
A critical turning point in a story in which the protagonist must engage a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.
The highest point of conflict in a conventional narrative; the protagonist's ultimate attempt to attain the goal.
The concluding narrative events that follow the climax and celebrate or otherwise reflect upon story outcomes.
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.
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 specific actions and events that the filmmakers select and the order in which they arrange those events and actions to effectively convey on-screen the movie's narrative to a viewer. Compare narrative and story.
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.
A fictional history behind the cinematic narrative that is presented onscreen. Elements of the backstory can be hinted at in a movie, presented through narration, or not revealed at all.
The amount of time that the entire narrative arc of a movie's story—whether explicitly presented on-screen or not—is implied to have taken to occur. Compare plot duration and screen duration.
The elapsed time of the events within a story that a film chooses to tell. Compare screen duration and story duration.
The amount of time that it has taken to present the movie's plot on-screen, i.e., the movie's running time. Compare plot duration and story duration.
A time relationship in which screen duration is shorter than plot duration. Compare real time and stretch relationship.
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.
A time relationship in which screen duration is longer than plot duration. Compare real time and summary relationship.
The passage of time within a movie, as conveyed and manipulated by editing.
A taking unawares that is potentially shocking. Compare suspense.
The anxiety brought on by partial uncertainty: the end is certain, but the means are not. Compare surprise.
The number of times that a story element recurs in a plot. Repetition signals that a particular event has noteworthy meaning or significance.
Any image that a director periodically repeats in a movie (with or without variations) to help stabilize the narrative.
The time and space in which a story takes place.