Narrative Poetics – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Film Theory Glossary Terms

I. What is Narrative Poetics?

Narrative poetics is a term used to describe the study of how stories are constructed and conveyed through various artistic mediums, such as literature, film, and theater. It focuses on the elements that make up a narrative, including plot, character development, setting, and theme. Narrative poetics seeks to understand how these elements work together to create a cohesive and engaging story that resonates with audiences.

II. How does Narrative Poetics apply to film?

In film, narrative poetics plays a crucial role in shaping the viewer’s experience. Filmmakers use various cinematic techniques, such as editing, cinematography, and sound design, to convey the story in a visually compelling way. By understanding the principles of narrative poetics, filmmakers can create a coherent and engaging narrative that captivates audiences and leaves a lasting impact.

III. What are the key elements of Narrative Poetics?

The key elements of narrative poetics include:

1. Plot: The sequence of events that make up the story.
2. Character development: The growth and change of characters throughout the narrative.
3. Setting: The time and place in which the story takes place.
4. Theme: The central message or moral of the story.
5. Point of view: The perspective from which the story is told.
6. Conflict: The central problem or struggle that drives the narrative forward.

These elements work together to create a cohesive and engaging story that resonates with audiences on an emotional and intellectual level.

IV. How does Narrative Poetics impact the viewer’s experience?

Narrative poetics has a profound impact on the viewer’s experience by shaping how the story is presented and interpreted. By using various storytelling techniques, filmmakers can evoke specific emotions, create tension and suspense, and engage the audience on a deeper level. The careful construction of a narrative using the principles of narrative poetics can enhance the viewer’s understanding and appreciation of the story being told.

V. How has Narrative Poetics evolved in film theory?

Over the years, narrative poetics has evolved in film theory to encompass a broader range of storytelling techniques and approaches. Filmmakers have experimented with non-linear narratives, unreliable narrators, and multiple perspectives to challenge traditional storytelling conventions and engage audiences in new and innovative ways. As film theory continues to evolve, narrative poetics remains a fundamental aspect of understanding how stories are constructed and conveyed through the medium of film.

VI. What are some examples of Narrative Poetics in film?

Some examples of narrative poetics in film include:

1. “Citizen Kane” (1941) directed by Orson Welles, which uses innovative storytelling techniques such as flashbacks and multiple perspectives to explore the life of a wealthy newspaper magnate.
2. “Pulp Fiction” (1994) directed by Quentin Tarantino, which employs a non-linear narrative structure to tell interconnected stories of crime and redemption.
3. “Memento” (2000) directed by Christopher Nolan, which uses a reverse chronological order to tell the story of a man with short-term memory loss seeking revenge for his wife’s murder.

These examples demonstrate how filmmakers can use narrative poetics to create compelling and thought-provoking stories that resonate with audiences long after the credits roll.