Alison Lucy's Blog


Iteration
October 28, 2009, 19:14
Filed under: Time and Experience

Screen-shot from 'The Storm'

 

Patrick Watson’s video ‘The Storm’ directed by Ralph Dfouni was something that caught my eye before I began to explore the subject of iteration and non-linear narratives. The aesthetics of the music video fits in perfectly with the sound and feel of the song. It has an eerie quality but remains quite light-hearted. It’s funny how you begin to notice non-linear narratives in films, novels etc when you start looking.

If you’ve ever seen ‘Memento’, directed by Christopher Nolan, you are unlikely to forget this as a superb example of experimental narrative. The opening sequence of the film is particularly memorable but the rest of the film is highly addictive due to the reverse chronological narrative in which you start at the end of the film and then watch each preceding revealing further information to the viewer. Running alongside those reverse scenes are inserts of a linear narrative in black and white that runs chronologically alongside the main reverse narrative which eventually meet and therefore transforms back into colour.  Below is the intriguing opening sequence. –

Pulp fiction is another stunning example of non-linear narrative work in film. Watching it for the first time quite a few weeks ago now I’ve realised just how much an interesting and slightly unconventional narrative can add. The characters of the opening restaurant scene are soon forgotten at the beginning of the film with the opening credits kicking in and new characters introduced. However, how this then links back in at the end of the film is both clever and surprising. The clips below demonstrate the use of these two scenes in different parts of the film. Best clips i could find.

The next video shows a much later scene in the film where the two characters, Vincent and Jules, are in the same restaurant environment and Quentin Tarantino cleverly inserts the moment where ‘Pumpkin’ asks for more coffee so that the tension builds in the audience as the prepare for what they know is going to happen.

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