Narrative at A2

Narrative continues to be an essential feature of Film Studies at A2 and for all of your films you need a detailed understanding of their narrative features.

Remember narrative analysis is a academic way of saying: ‘the study of stories’.

Here is a document that will help remind you of the work we did at AS level on narrative. However, this document is not sufficient to cover the complexity of the films at A2 nor gives you enough  space for a deep enough analysis. However, it is a good start.

In the context of A2 Film Studies a narrative analysis means you understand, can explain and give examples of the following narrative features:

  1. The action codes which drive the story.
  2. The structure/shape of the stories in the film.
    1. The control (restriction or revelation) of narrative information.
      1. How does knowledge of this information give the spectator pleasure?
  3. The significance of the setting to the story.
    1. This is especially important for World Cinema: Urban Stories.
  4. The role(s) that each of the characters play in the story (villain, helper, protagonist, donor, false hero, the girl/boy…)
  5. How each of the characters are represented and how their wants and needs affect the story.
    1. The characters’ journey, what they learn and how do they change?
  6. The spectator’s position and how our sympathies are shaped and manipulated.
  7. The role of the  narrator (if applicable).
    1. Are they trustworthy?
      1. Bourdin certainly proves not to be.
  8. The themes/messages  that the director wants to communicate and how these are evident.
    1. The link between the themes in the narrative and the cinematic style of the film?

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