2016 - 2017

  Narrative Complexity in Contemporary Cinema                                                          
Prof. Nitzan Ben-ShaulMexico - Arts2081000-1400 Sem  1
University credit hours:  4.0

Course description

Many contemporary popular films evidence a narrative complexity that meaningfully diverges from the linear plotline that leads to a closure answering all issues raised in the movie. These films offer labyrinth structures (e.g. eXistenZ), forking path structures (e.g. Sliding Doors), illogical structures (e.g. Mulholland Drive), incompatible structures (e.g. Pulp Fiction), misleading structures (e.g. The Sixth Sense), complex time structures (e.g. Inception) or reversed time structures (e.g. Memento). This contemporary narrative complexity has been termed modular (Cameron), puzzle (Buckland), mind game (Elsaesser), complex (Simons), multi-draft (Brannigan), forking path (Bordwell) or data-based narratives (Kinder). In the seminar we will analyze these peculiar structures in key films, decipher the cognitive processes encouraged in viewers (loopy thinking or optional thinking) and consider suggested contextual reasons for this development (e.g. the digital revolution, postmodernism and globalization).

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