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Narrative Comprehension and Film by Edward Branigan

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2

STORY WORLD AND SCREEN

A PRELIMINARY DELINEATION OF NARRATIVE IN FILM

Narrative in film rests on our ability to create a three-dimensional world out of a two-dimensional wash of light and dark. A bare facticity of graphics on the screen – size, color, angle, line, shape, etc. – must be transformed into an array of solid objects; and a texture of noise must be transformed into speech, music, and the sounds made by solid objects. Light and sound in narrative film are thus experienced in two ways: virtually unshaped on a screen as well as apparently moving within, reflecting and issuing from, a world which contains solid objects making sounds. Every basic spatial and temporal relationship, such as position and duration, thus has a double interpretation. ...

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