Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Disrupted Narratives

The New Yorker has an extensive article on the disrupted narratives that have appeared recently in modern cinema, citing examples such as Pulp Fiction and Memento, and then dissecting Guillermo Arriaga and Alejandro González Iñárritu's trilogy of "Amores Perros", 21 Grams" and "Babel". It seems to especially focus on the latter, and perhaps comes to a conclusion that not many others have voiced (I can't say, I haven't seen Babel yet).

I was surprised that such a long piece describing the filmmakers who play with traditional chronological narratives and their resultant films would completely leave out David Lynch. Omission for brevity's sake? Laziness? Who knows.

One small point that is made by David Denby (the writer) is that digital cinema is both ripe and rife with cut-ups in narrative: the former since the technology allows it and latter because of this ease of use. I expect to see far more of this in the future.

How far can the envelope be pushed? There have been some scientific studies on how the human mind recognizes things like words. It turns out that you can scramble the internal letters, and as long as the first and last letters are left in place, comprehension can occur.
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Can the same be said for any story? How far can one go in slicing and dicing the story before it becomes unrecognizable and incomprehensible? Isn't life just a set of clips that we put together to make sense of the whole thing?


Overman said...

Really good thoughts, thank you.

bllius said...

Sure. No problem, lol.