Alternative Narratives And Film Form

The vast majority of films, whether American, British, Brazilian or Japanese, have been structured around the kind of mainstream narrative described above. Such narratives tell stories about characters who are 'believable' (either because they are 'realistic' or because they correspond to accepted genre stereotypes) as they experience a series of events within a relatively coherent time and space. It may be worth repeating that such films, as part of the commercial film industry, are made with profit in mind: the aim is to make money. As is stressed elsewhere, this also tends to mean that such films are likely to belong to a genre and to contain stars, as both these factors tend to help in targeting a large audience.

Throughout most of cinema's history, though, some film-makers have refused this mode of film-making and have experimented with other kinds of narratives; indeed some have refused narrative altogether. Among famous examples of narratives being constructed quite differently from the dominant model outlined above were the Soviet Montage films and Surrealist films of the 1920s; these will be considered in Chapters 14 and 15.

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Film Making

Film Making

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