Art of The Moving Image
November 28, 2007
The Butterfly Effect
Narrative form is simply “a type of filmic organization in which the parts relate to one another through a series of casually related events taking place in time and space.” Narration usually occurs in a cause-effect relationship. There are many factors of narration but range and depth are the most important. The range refers to how much we know in the plot. Range connects characters and the audience through shared knowledge. One example of range in a story is ‘restricted knowledge’ where we can only discover things with the characters, meaning that we don’t know more than the characters know. On the other hand there is something called ‘unrestricted knowledge’ where we know just about everything that is going on, especially things that the characters don’t know. But we should all know that narration is never completely unrestricted, there is always an aspect of the film that will be a suspense to the viewer. “A films narration not only manipulates the range of knowledge but also manipulates the depth of our knowledge. Here we are referring to how deeply the plot plunges into a characters psychological state. Just as there is a spectrum between restricted and unrestricted narration, there is a continuum between objectivity and subjectivity.”1 Objective refers to characters facial expressions, which helps us understand a characters emotional state. Subjective narration shows us what’s going in a characters head. This could be shown through a memory flashback or a dream sequence. The Butterfly Effect, a movie written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, starts off with an interesting quote. The quote by Chaos Theory states “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world” which simply means when a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world, it can...
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