tzvetan todorov

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TZVETAN TODOROV

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Page 1: Tzvetan todorov

TZVETAN TODOROV

Page 2: Tzvetan todorov

Todorov’s narrative theory suggests that there are 5 stages of conventional narrative:

1. State of equilibrium2. Disruption of equilibrium3. Recognition of disruption4. Attempt to repair disruption5. Reinstatement of equilibrium

This theory is used in many texts including books (fictional and non-fictional), films, music videos, and

even songs themselves.

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Examples of texts that use this concept are….

Films:• ‘A Cinderella Story’• ‘The Hangover’

Songs:• ‘Burn’ – Usher

• ‘Irreplaceable’ – Beyoncé• ‘Lay It Down’ – Lloyd ft. Patti LeBelle

Music Videos:• ‘Mistletoe’ – Justin Beiber

• ‘Wherever You Will Go’ – The Calling

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‘Mistletoe’ – Justin BeiberThe first indication of disruption of equilibrium is at 0:17, then again at 0:35 by the female character. However, the equilibrium disruption is only small so is constantly restored.From 0:50 there is clear equilibrium with both characters happy, until 1:31 when the disruption of equilibrium is clear, with the girl walking away. At 1:45 there is recognition of disruption when the boy realises she is upset. At 2:00, there is an attempt to repair the disruption because he has sent her a present. And at 2:15, he is waiting outside for her, attempting to repair the disruption. At 2:18, both the characters are seen together, smiling, suggesting that the equilibrium is restored. For the rest if the video, the characters are seen to be happy with one another, and at 2:55 kiss, showing the reinstatement of equilibrium.

Page 5: Tzvetan todorov

‘Wherever You Will Go’ – The CallingThis video is harder because it involves more bricolage than the Justin Bieber video, and is of a less linear structure. However, I am going to comment on the story (or my interpretation of the story), rather than the presentation of the video.

At 0:30, the female character is getting a tattoo of her partners name. This suggests that there is equilibrium.At 1:06, the female character is seen walking into the house smiling, but at 1:12, the male character is seen inside the house with another woman. This suggests disruption of equilibrium. At 1:30, the woman finds the male with the other woman, showing the recognition of disruption of both characters.There is no clear attempt to repair disruption, however at 1:56, the woman is seen throwing the man’s clothes out. Maybe this is her way of attempting to repair the disruption?At 3:03, the woman is seen with a different guy, and looks very happy. However, the ‘ex’ is not happy. The equilibrium is restored in her life, but not his.

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Todorov’s theory in relation to my video

Stage 1- State of equilibrium

At the start of my video, there is no clear equilibrium, however there is no clear disruption of equilibrium either. However, with the variety of close ups, mid shots and wide shots showing the character’s behaviour such as picking a daisy, disruption of equilibrium is suggested.

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Stage 2 – disruption of equilibrium

This is shown at 0:10 when the girls is seen sad and alone. A wide shot shows the character sitting under a tree, alone, and appearing upset.

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Stage 3 – recognition of disruption

This is shown at 0:19 when the couple are in bed, where a two-shot shows the couple facing away from each other.

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Stage 4 – Attempt to repair disruption

At 3:45, a variety of wide shots, two-shots, mid shots and close up shows the boy approaching the girl and hugging her, in an attempt to repair the disruption.

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Stage 5 – reinstatement of equilibrium

This stage is clearly shown in the last scene at 3:14 where a silhouette-style shot shows the couple kissing in slow motion.

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In the production of my music video, I did not consciously attempt to use Todorov’s narrative theory, however, because I analysed music videos and became accustom to the codes and conventions of music videos, I produced a video that contained all 5 stages of the theory because I used all of the knowledge that I had acquired.