all posts from September 2008


The “Twist” Genre and the Crying Game

Bordwell’s definitions of fabula and syuzhet help illuminate exactly how the “twist” genre, as explored by Erlend Lavik, operates. Typically in these films (and if memory serves, The Sixth Sense is no exception), the syuzhet is deliberately constructed so as to encourage the viewer to ask the wrong questions and thus arrive at the wrong fabula. Then, […]

Why do We Believe Alvy Singer?

As discussed in class today, Annie Hall is very much a subjective narrative mostly from Alvy Singer’s point of view. Putting aside to what extent this point of view reflects or does not reflect that of Woody Allen, the filmmaker, why do we as viewers put so much faith in the visuals of the film? […]

Is Margolin’s View of Character Applicable to Film?

Uri Margolin writes in her essay “Character” in The Cambridge Companion to Narrative that character can be most succinctly defined as “storyworld participant” (66). Seems simple enough. But it gets complicated for literature, the medium she’s writing about, when one considers what, exactly, constitutes a participant. Objects and places can be awarded a personality and significance, […]

On the Viewer’s Role in Constructing Story

In class today we seemed to come to a consensus concerning how the viewer actively interacts with the plot and narration to construct story. Professor Mittell stated it the most simply: the viewer will assume the simplest answer and only ask the questions posed by the narration. This is how we can be fooled by […]

Cinematic Narrators and Galilean Relativity

Physics and film. Together, in one post. I’ll be the first to admit that I never saw my two academic pursuits coinciding. Ever. But here I am, about to draw tenuous connections between the two that will probably make all my professors cringe. Robert Stam explains in the second half of our reading from New Vocabularies […]

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