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September 2001, Week 3


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Wed, 19 Sep 2001 09:50:38 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (47 lines)
Patricia Martin requests:

> I am looking for films and resources for a course I am preparing on
> non-linear narrative. I am also analizing films in which you can
> detect the influence of multimedia visual strucutures/ metafors

David Bordwell's NARRATION IN THE FICTION FILM gives an exhaustive
overview of both linear (or "classical," if you prefer) film narratives
and alternatives such as the European Art Film and the work of Godard
(most of whose work is "non-linear" in some way or another).  See
especially his chapter on "paradigmatic" films.  And there are
avant-garde films like UN CHIEN ANDALOU that continually tempt you to
construct a narrative while denying it at the same time.  Mary Ellen
Bute's FINNEGAN'S WAKE is an interesting attempt to put Joyce's novel
on film. Some films are hardly narratives at all, even though they are
linear in time, such as Terence Davies' THE LONG DAY CLOSES.  Djibril
Diop Mambety's TOUKI BOUKI is also linear in time but it defies simple
causal links.  Some of Oshima's work, especially THE MAN WHO LEFT HIS
WILL ON FILM, would seem to fit here too.  Some films are collections
of episodes that work thematically rather than as a complete linear
narrative, such as Bunuel's THE MILKY WAY.  A number of Resnais' films

You might want to look at Chris Ware's graphic novel, JIMMY CORRIGAN,
THE SMARTEST KID ON EARTH, including the dust cover!

As for multimedia visual structures and metaphors, you could back to
the singing flower in A NOUS LA LIBERTE and its link to the phonograph,
or the use of a phonograph record as a structuring device in George
Stevens' PENNY SERENADE.  More contemporary examples include much of
Godard again (eg., PIERROT LE FOU, LA CHINOISE, etc.), some of Peter
Greenaway's work (especially his version of THE TEMPEST), Paul Thomas
Anderson's MAGNOLIA, etc.

Don Larsson

Donald F. Larsson
English Department, AH 230
Minnesota State University
Mankato, MN  56001

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite