Monday, 14 February 2011

Essay Introduction

Here is the introduction as it stands at the moment            

This essay is an investigation of the relationship between story and structure in film, specifically Dr Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick.  It focuses upon the stylistic, directorial and editorial choices in the film, as well as the use of filmic devices such as montage and musical themes.  Key sources include Luis Mainar’s “Narrative and Stylistic Patterns in the Films of Stanley Kubrick”, which deals with the style and narrative of the films of Stanley Kubrick, and James Naremore’s “Stanley Kubrick and the Aesthetics of the Grotesque”, which looks at the juxtaposition of ridiculous and unsettling elements to create unresolved tension in the audience.  The assignment will start by analysing the narrative structure of the film, in particular the use of a limited number of settings and characters, before moving upon to the design and photography of these scenes.  Finally, it will examine the context and underlying themes of the film.


  1. Interim Online Review 15/02/2011

    Hey Dan,

    I must be going soft. Or I've been this feedback lark too long already. But your script made my eyes prickle! Truthfully - it gave me an emotional experience - that last image - of the reflected childhood. Bang! Sometimes, your laser-sight clarity and no-nonsense persona frustrates me because I'm keen for you to 'give in' sometimes to pure experience - but sometimes - most times - I welcome and enjoy your especial clarity and dry, dry wit; here, I just love the confidence of your story idea; it's clarity and impact. Just one reservation and that's to do with the roller-skates; while the 'museum' of entertainment is a lovely idea (especially in terms of concept art and what it might tell us about the future you're imagining that might need a museum for childish things), and ergo, the roller-skates make perfect sense, they don't actually contribute - unless, your point is that the footage of the children using the skates awakens in your window-cleaner the need/urge to ride the carousel? If so, then I think the sound track - of the children on the skates laughing - the infectious giggling etc. - should, in conjunction with slow zoom towards the window cleaner's face, be used to 'show' him having his idea.

    Lots of lovely design issues here - both environmental and character design. Your window-cleaner needs, I suppose, to be a little bit grey, a little bit weary, and a little bit glum (a bit like the future you're predicting that would look at funfairs as museum pieces!). Your window-cleaner could have a kind of 'hoverboard' platform, as opposed to a mechanical one - just a small detail to tell the audience that this is the world we know - but a few years off. It does seem as if, thematically, your story is about the power of real physical experience over simulated or 'risk-assessed-to-death' activity. I think there is lots of production design potential here - and I look forward to seeing your pre-production filtering through.

    Your introduction to your essay fills me with confidence; your style is apt, your choice fascinating and you've clearly done your reading. Bring it on, Prof!

  2. Or I've been *at* this feedback lark too long already... (I have, clearly!)