Film studies class and the narrator

This month our Film Studies class has been exploring storytelling in film, focusing in particular on the role of narration and the concept of breaking the ‘fourth wall’, when characters in films speak directly to the audience.

Students saw famous clips from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail, Spaceballs, Trainspotting and Stranger than Fiction and used these to spark discussion of how a narrator relates to the world. In particular we related these filmic ideas to those of the stage, addressing the use of soliloquy in Shakespeare.

Then we discussed how directors use this technique to craft the very nature of the story they are telling. Whether it be Woody Allen talking to the viewer in Annie Hall or Adam McKay adopting Brechtian techniques for The Big Short, we saw how engaging with a movie need not be a passive act.

In the coming weeks the class will explore the role of sound within film, looking at some of the most iconic film soundscapes.

The Film Studies class takes place every Thursday at 3.30pm in room G-3 and all 4th, 5th and 6th year students in our full-time senior school are welcome to attend.