ALTERNATE NARRATIVE SYSTEMS: COUNTER CINEMA
Alternate Narrative Systems are often defined in terms of what they are not, by comparing them with the classic system. The “alternate” category is somewhat of a miscellany, including art cinema, Soviet cinema of the 1920s and counter cinema. All are works of a unique artistic consciousness, expressing a personal vision. CHARACTERS: Might appear contradictory or unconvincing, and in general not seem credible, psychologically well-rounded individuals with whom to identify. Often they seem to lack defined desires and goals. The narrative may entirely lack human agency to move it along; the relationship between character motivation and narrative events may not be immediately apparent. STRUCTURE: Events in the story might not be organized according to any linear logic of cause and effect, as digressions or unexpected turns may interrupt the narrative. The narrative structure may be picaresque, fragmented, loosely structured, or digressive (including characters who comment on their psychological states or incidents in the story). Narrative closure may be problematic or ambiguous. Questions set up by the narrative might be left unanswered at the end of the story. Open-ended. VERISIMILITUDE: A fictional world may be constructed according to principles other than those governing the impression of spatial and temporal verisimilitude. For example, narrative action may shift—without explanation or justification— between totally divergent places and/or times. Sometimes a subjective verisimilitude is constructed, governed by the subjective states of the characters. CINEMATIC CODES: Tendency to set aside editing conventions aimed at establishing the appearance of spatial (180-degree rule) and temporal continuity (repetitions, jump cuts). The editing draws attention to itself. SPECTATOR ESTRANGEMENT: Forces a thinking detachment and distanced attitude on the part of the spectator (Brechtian/distanciation theory). UNPLEASURE / NOT...
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