Circular Narrative: Film Analysis

Powerful Essays
Mr. Woodard
Film Studies – A
24th, September 2014
Circular Narrative
A circular narrative is a narrative that has certain plot points repeating throughout the film; this is a technique that a lot of writers and directors use, risking a lot of money. Circular narrative rarely makes it into mainstream movies and this probably happens because it doesn’t often fit neatly into the sort of plot Hollywood is used to producing. In these circular narrative films the end of the movie usually connects right back to the start of the movie making an endless loop of a movie. Most of the time, people fail to grasp the meaning of the films due to the movies’ complexity and we can see these demonstrations in a variety of modern films such as Groundhog
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Rashomon, directed by Akira Kurosawa, is created based on the history of Japan in the 11th century. As Japan was in a postwar condition at this time period, the country was suffering severe tragedy and impotence. Kurosawa’s purpose was “to reveal the extremities of the human behaviors” in the movie; this was portrayed by the contrasting perspectives of the self-serving characters: the bandit, the samurai, the samurai’s wife, and the woodcutter. The resolution of who was telling the truth and who was not remains nebulous even after the film ends. Additionally, Kurosawa inserted a context about how women were weak and how they only played a minor role in society in those days. In Rashomon, the samurai’s wife illustrated how “women cannot help crying, they are naturally weak.” Most of the time in the film the samurai’s wife was to be found crying with guilt and desperation. The wife begged her husband for forgiveness after the rape, yet was weakened by the cold stare of the husband. As the woman was trapped in her own guilt, she asked the bandit to kill her husband. The samurai’s wife lucidly illustrates how women were powerless and could not win the strength of men. Unlike Rashomon, in Run Lola Run, director Tywker paints a narrower view of German history behind the film. The Berlin Wall was built between East and West Germany for prevention of…show more content…
This term applies across genres, including art, literature, poetry, drama, music and film. A variety of narrative styles exists, the most common one is chronological sequences. Circular narratives, however, provide an alternate framework to tell a story. The beginnings revealed themselves later to be endings; narratives followed circular routes; multiple narrative paths, independent of each other, crossed, entwined, merged and diverged; characters did not develop in any “conventional” way, they appeared then disappeared, dying in one scene and then alive in another. This engages the audience and then takes them on a journey, in a circle. The way these films end is when a problem has been resolved or when the protagonist learns his or her lesson. The films we just watched centers around the protagonist either getting in trouble or causing one. Each film has its own way of using circular narrative style. The director Tom Tykwer uses circular narrative in a very obvious way in one of his films know as Run Lola Run. The beginning of that film started with the climax and the storyline circulated itself until a problem the protagonist was facing is resolved. In the film Groundhog Day, a weather man lives a specific day until he learnt his lesson. Rashomon though, has a weird way of showing circular narrative it happens by 2 men storytelling and the story never really resolved any
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