Chapter 2: The Significance of Film Form

In Chapter 2 we are introducted to the meaning of film form and why it is so important.   The text gives us a simplistic example of ABACA.  We are introducted to something “A”, given something new “B” and then represented with A.  The same thing happens after with “C” and then “A” again.  Most modern films follow a pattern and use our (the viewers), expectations (our prior experences, current events that we are think about, social situations) to progress the story forward.  The filmmakers know that we want to see “A” again so they give it to us.  They make choose to make something a little more intresting and throw as suprise in (ABADCA) but they noramlly conclude with an “A”.  Films that fail to follow this form and end with something that isn’t even remotely expected (something that isn’t logical) often fail. 

When thinking about the form of a film the firs thing that came to mind was Pulp Fiction (1994), by Quentin Tarantino.  I’d say that its more of an ABCDEACEDEAFGA pattern but I think I’d still be leaving a lot of letters out.  Up until reading ch 2 in the text I could never figure out why I liked this movie.  It didn’t follow the pattern of the other movies that I have seen (main guy has a problem, solves it, is happy after).  While watching it again after reading the text I now realize that it really does keep on going back to “A”, and “B” or in other words it shows the story of everyone without leaving anyone out for too long and in the end we are introduced to the beggining.  The way the movie is presented is very different then most films but it still manages to keep the basic form of a film (we are introducted to “A” and then we go back and learn more about “A” and then a little more later).  Characters were developed just in a different way.  We are introduced to one as we learn more about another then this repeats for someone new. 

One of the things that I thing pulls the film together is how all the characters share common traits.  I think they all have turettes syndrome ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxcei2eOCMo evidence).  Also watch the next clip until the guys with gun jumps out and starts shooting.

Most would expect both of them to be dead.  However after watching the movie from the beggining most would laugh and not be too suprised that something this crazy happened (this is a movie about crazy people). 

While a few formulas seem to be in every film today, film has a lot to offer.  A formula is just a simple understanding of form and I think that more films should break out of formulas as long as they can sill follow the basic film form.  Pulp Fiction was able to use the basic principles of form but change them around just enough to give us someting fresh and different yet still feel right to us.

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