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Narrative Comprehension and Film by Edward Branigan

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5

SUBJECTIVITY

LEVELS IN HANGOVER SQUARE

As we watch a film, the camera seems to reach out toward us, eliciting hypotheses about space and time, answering our thoughts at the same moment that a world is given shape on a screen. Paradoxically, the camera seems to be both a pretext for our speculations about an event and the already completed, material record of what must be experienced. The camera through its framings seems to become the very embodiment of narration, of “knowing how to go on …” about a world it already knows. In this sense, every theory of film narrative will make claims about the nature of the camera and its functioning. Roughly, its functioning will be described as being either “subjective” or “objective.” In this chapter I ...

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