Storytelling in a Film: Goodykoontz and Jacobs

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According to Goodykoontz & Jacobs, the telling of the story in a film is often a collaborative effort between the screenwriter, director, and other members of the creative team. (Goodykoontz, & Jacobs 2011). A story is told/presented/recorded in chronological order; while a plot is the series of events that the filmmakers use to present the story in a dramatic form. (Goodykoontz, & Jacobs 2011). I have been watching the Orson Welles’ film, Citizen Kane which is touted by Goodykoontz & Jacobs to be the best film ever. (Goodykoontz, & Jacobs 2011). The plot surrounds a millionaire media mogul named Charles Foster Kane. The story is not presented in chronological order but in a non-linearly form moving from the present to the past and vice versa. At the beginning of the movie Kane uttered the word “Rosebud” before he died and this aroused my curiosity. The filmmaker wisely chose this form to capture the viewers’ attention. The main character was played by Welles himself and I was drawn into Citizen Kane’s world through the use of the retrospective forms that were used to build the character. A chronological presentation would have bored me stiff but the clever usage of plot time, held my interest. Because Citizen Cane is not in my usual movie genre, I had to watch it several times to really get the point of the story. Storytelling is very important in this movie.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). Film: From Watching to Seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
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