Symbiosis International University Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts

Narrative Cinema / Craft of Film Narration

Faculty Course Type Credits Prerequisites Semester
Gayatri Chatterjee Minor 4 Film Studies Minor 6

 Brief Overview 

This paper is devoted to the craft of film narration in the case of fiction films. Students are re-introduced to the fact that different cinemas in the world tell stories differently. They familiarize themselves with theories of narratology of two ancient civilizations: Greece and India. Americans explain their storytelling mode in terms of the Aristotelian model—the ‘five part’ dramatic structure—termed the Hollywood Classical Narrative.

This above is a way of dramatic fiction writing and the students learn the dramatic curve, the gradient and the factors behind the beginnings of films. Of particular importance is the end of a film; they learn about ‘closure’ and open ended narratives. They learn about the predominant logic of the American film narrative: linear, chronological and causal. Time and Space is organized with the logic of the Dramatic-Analytic mode.

With the Indian narrative technique the course brings in the episodic. Students learn how some Indian filmmakers have used the episodic for discursive purposes. Students learn how Indian filmmakers use Time and Space elements of cinema in specific ways.

Through the semester, students work in detail on four filmmakers from four countries: France, Japan India and America. They are also taught some rudimentary of scriptwriting. They will write scripts for one three minutes and one ten minutes film. 

 Course Objectives 

  • The formation of a narration in films is a complex process. The basic objective of this paper is to apply the different ways films from across the globe tell stories as they also ‘tell’ other things.
  • To demonstrate the sum total of a theme, a plot-line, some discourses and some special meanings generated by the visual and sound tracks.
  • To interpret the Epic Structure- there is the effort to interpret the Hero—from Greek formulations.
  • To look at films that applies change towards bringing in balance between masculine and the feminine.
  • To look at how film acting show film narrative. 

 Teaching Methodology 

  • Students are made to watch movies in class of different genres. Interactive class discussions after every Film.
  • Students learn how film images are formed through photographs, moving pictures, video clips, story boards etc.
  • Students learn to observe the impressions films make on them and learn to write down these impressions.
  • Evaluations are conducted throughout the semester to ensure that the students’ outcomes are appraised.


Students are expected to –

  • Complete all required reading for each scheduled class as per the course outline,
  • Actively participate in class activities and discussions, and
  • Complete all evaluative processes for successful course completion!