Wednesday, May 21, 2003
It was indeed fascinating to see expressions of non-linearity and non-narratives on the big screen. But for the odd festival, most of what I read about this kind of storytelling, I never get to see. What little I get to on TV is OK, but this is how these films are meant to be seen�in a movie theatre.
Non-linearity and non-narrative storytelling, of course is not a new concept: a typical example would be the MTV music video story. But difference and difference for the sake of difference and shock value is so trite that most non-narratives become unappreciable. During the recently concluded animated film festival, for once I could enjoy not watching a narrative unfold. So what does this mean for the Gestalt theory, our inherent desire to construct meaning and narrative? I guess familiarity leads to meaning formation and if that is broken, then the result is initially chaotic, but fascinating in the long run. Au Premier Dimanche d�Ao�t by Florence Miailhe was a classic example. It is not so much of form taking over and overwhelming the content, but more a question of the little stories in the images and the absolute non-existence of the goal and conflict-consequence duality. Of course a wonderful example from mainstream cinema would probably be the Connie wedding sequence from the Godfather.
It is music that most easily carries this kind of storytelling by taking away the context of diegesis and thereby leading to better appreciation of the non-existence of narrative. Indian cinema is unique by the existence of such absolutely non-deigetic, non-narrative storytelling in the song sequences, but somehow or the other, none of this comes out. I guess our fellows don�t know the narrative (and anti-narrative) purposes of the song. The songs exist purely out of habit and convention.
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