Slant and Filter

In thinking about our conversation last class, and the difference between slant and filter within narratives, I am having a difficult time understanding how Bowling for Columbine would fit into these categories.  According to Chatman, the diegetic consciousness of a story is something that only characters can visualize. It is only the characters that are affected by the developing szyuhet and fabula, which causes them filter perceptions and thoughts about the storyworld. Chatman also states that slants capture the psychological, sociological, and idealogical ramifications of the author’s attitude’s; these being either implicit or explicit. However, this distinction confuses me is when he describes how, “The narrator’s comments are not of the same order as the character’s perceptions even if he is reporting what he saw or felt “back then” when he was a character. The use of “focalization” or any other single term to refer to the quite different mental processes of characters and narrators violates the distinctions between story and discourse” (pg. 145). After reading this, how can Chatman not say that Michael Moore’s prescence in Bowling for Columbine is both a character and a narrator? Moore has a first hand experience within the storyworld, as he sits through different interveiws and conversations. For instance, Moore did not expect WalMart to make a public statement saying they were going to stop selling bullets, when he and one of the Columbine shooting victims arrived with a camera. This impulsive decision by Moore (narrating or a character) results in a reaction by WalMart, something Moore has to process and percieve within the developing storyworld of the documentary (character?). While this event transpires, Michael also leads the film through it’s expositional way of reasoning about different fears in the American society, as he decides what to investigate; like the NRA, and the fear of the black man (definently narrational). 

Maybe documentaries are different, but I feel that Moore is both a character and a narrator in the developing storyworld of Bowling for Columbine. Or is he just always a narrator? I feel that he is not narrating everything in this film. Many of his actions, like WalMart, are reactionary and resemble what Chatman describes as a character in a story.     

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