Storytelling Situations in Cinema History
In Narrated Films, Avrom Fleishman explores the distinctive literary techniques often used by filmmakers to tell their stories. Through close viewings of ingeniously paired films, Fleishman documents five narrational practices in the cinema: voice-over ( Orpheus and Sunset Boulevard); dramatized narration, in which the film is a story that one character tells another ( The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Hiroshima Mon Amour); multiple narration, in which a number of characters tell the story that is the film ( Rashomon and Zelig); written narration, whether through diaries or letters ( Letter from an Unknown Woman and Diary of a Country Priest); and the cinematic version of interior monologue, which Fleishman terms mindscreen narration ( Brief Encounter and Daybreak).
About the Author
Avrom Fleishman is a retired professor of English at the Johns Hopkins University and is the author of numerous books, including The English Historical Novel: Walter Scott to Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf: A Critical Reading (both available from Johns Hopkins), The Condition of English, and New Class Culture.
Avrom Fleishman's investigative foray into the subtleties of filmic narration confronts the oversimplifications to which theoretical as well as conventional understanding can be prone. The result is a genuine pleasure: a book that combines theory and practice in often illuminating ways... He takes well-known and often-discussed films and freshens awareness of them as much by his unexpected pairings as by his narratological acuity... Narrated Films is a model of informed, generous film criticism because of its author's writerly gift for engagement with his reader.
This informative study of the various styles of storytelling ranges from straight voice-over to 'mind-screen' narration, a cinematic version of fiction's interior monologue.
After an accomplished career as a literary critic, Avrom Fleishman may well have written his most engaging book. Narrated Films explores the way certain films narrate the textuality or dramaturgy of their own telling. His illuminating account of such situated storytelling, and of the issues it raises more generally for an aesthetics of modernist narrative, sustains a new and incisive set of distinctions. The book is bound to make its mark at the never livelier crossroad of literary and film theory.
Other Titles by Avrom Fleishman
Other Titles in PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
Other Titles in Theatre studies