Media One Lectorial 8: Crescendoing Clap for Dan

28 April

The stuff of story is alive but intangible
Robert McKee

Everything is Story and Story is Everything. Dan’s lectorial on Narrative and Non-narrative was enthralling and refreshing. With a primary focus on narrative causality, Dan introduced us to three functioning models of causality: character development, plot, and resolution. Causality, cause and effect, in narratives is the logical progression of one to the next (or a purposefully logical out-of-sequence progression). The ‘pattern of expectations’ was also discussed in relation to narrative storytelling. Dan’s lectorial was idiosyncratic as I noticed everyone was very much so captured by his charisma and quirky deliverance. Red Hot Riding Hood by Tex Avery was hilarious and related perfectly to the lectorial’s focus. Its very adult themes and narrative had me remembering Cory Edwards’ Hoodwinked!, an adaptation film that was very successful. For the group exercise on narrative structure and character prevalence, my group – encouraged by me – chose Disney’s The Little Mermaid naturally. My engagement and captivation was unparalleled; Disney titillates me.

We Have Decided Not To Die by Daniel Askill was the screened non-narrative short film. Its three-sector composition, eerie continuous music and repeated patterns across each sector can induce both narrative and non-narrative readings. Thematically and visually similar, the three sectors depict three figures that can be understood to be aspects of the same person’s psyche, aspects of multiple persons’ psyches or multiple narrative plots. The short-film is extremely interesting and due to these possible readings – and technically infinite if your mind has been destroyed by literary criticism – every viewer reads the short-film differently. My reading upon first viewing was as follows: the progression, deterioration and repetition of mental health for people suffering from anxiety and depression. My second viewing, however, ensued the following reading: a person’s struggle with split-personality disorder is improving as they ‘murder’ their split-personalities through the assistance of a psychologist and anti-depressant medication. In reflection of my two readings, I can see that firstly I am completely bonkers and secondly I have taken a reader-centred and psychoanalytical approach to the readings.

I enjoy both narrative and non-narrative stories; I get certain unique satisfactions out of each of them. I suppose it is often dependent on my present mood and present situation when watching these films that determines my preference. For Project Brief 4, I would like to present non-narrative concepts through narrative storytelling. We shall see.


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