JCM312/Narrative Structure

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Classical Hollywood cinema

Television discusses seven principal characteristics of classical Hollywood cinema. Explain the terms below and discuss whether they apply to Day for Night.

  1. G1 and G5: Single protagonist
  2. G1 and G5: Exposition
  3. G2: Motivation
  4. G2: Narrative enigma
  5. G3: Cause-effect chain
    • G3: Story time versus screen time--in terms of duration and order
  6. G4: Climax
  7. G4: Resolution/Denouement--compare exposition and denouement

All groups: Does Day for Night qualify as a classical film? Why or why not? Explain how the characteristics above are (or are not) used in the film.

Signs of character[1]

  1. Viewer foreknowledge
  2. Character name
  3. Appearance
  4. Objective correlative
  5. Dialogue
  6. Lighting and videography or cinematography
  7. Action

How are these signs of character used to construct the following characters in Day for Night?

  • G1 and G5: Alphonse
  • G2: Julie
  • G3: Ferrand
  • G4: Liliane

Signs of performance[1]

  1. G1 and G5: Vocal
  2. G2: Facial
  3. G3: Gestural
  4. G4: Corporeal

Day for Night cast


  1. 1.0 1.1 Richard Dyer, Stars


  1. Jeremy G. Butler, Television: Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture, 5th Edition (New York: Routledge, 2018).
  2. David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, 9th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010).

External links

  1. Frame grabs from Day for Night.
  2. Wes Anderson American Express Commercial (Day for Night parody, password protected: tcf123abc! )
  3. TV Tropes: listing of numerous narrative conventions.