Assignment 1: Narrative report on Vertigo
Establishing the difference between the story and the plot allows one to determine the effect each element has on the understanding and interpretation of the piece. It also provides a way of tracking the continuation of events and the relationship between seemingly isolated moments in time. Film Art clearly defines both story and plot but acknowledges that there is a significant overlap between the two functions and allows a flow within the film. The plot is the presentation of the events, in chronological order and includes the events that are seen, inferred and assumed by the viewer as opposed to the story. The story refers to the way in which the plot is presented, the ‘personality’ imposed onto it by the ‘storyteller and the way in which it is interpreted by the viewer, including all of the information that is inferred and assumed by the viewer. In the film Vertigo the distinction between story and plot allows the viewer to interpret the presented information in a way that makes the ‘story’ feasible, whilst at the beginning it appears that the film will run in chronological order, it becomes clear eventually due to inferences that the viewer makes there is more to the story than the plot lets on initially. Vertigo creates suspense by playing with the order in which information is released to the viewer; the amount of time spent creating the relationship between the characters ensures that the viewer understands the depth and intensity of the emotion. This plays into the evolution of the story by introducing another layer to the interpretation, the loss and despair when Madeline dies is compounded later by the fact that it was not actually her that dies, nor was it her that Jonny-O really loved. This linking of events through the overlap of story and plot is a good example of how inferred and assumed information can make or break the interpretation of events.
Opening with the title sequence that fetishizes an...
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