Professor Christopher Bradley


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Professor Christopher Bradley

  • Professor Christopher Bradley


Finding Meaning

  • Finding Meaning

    • Aesthetic Emotion
      • Finding (or creating) meaning out of life’s random events
    • Premise
      • And the “What if” question
      • Other inspirations


The “Controlling Idea”

  • The “Controlling Idea”

    • What is it?
    • What will you prove?
    • Avoiding didacticism!
    • How do you find it?
    • The Counter-Idea
    • Progressions


Identifying Your Story Type

  • Identifying Your Story Type

    • What kind of story is your story?
    • Idealistic
    • Pessimistic
    • Ironic


Complications

  • Complications

    • Complexity on Three Levels:
      • Inner Conflict
      • Personal Conflict
      • Extra-Personal Conflict


Reversals

  • Reversals

    • In Scenes
    • In Sequences
    • In Acts
  • Assignments





You build tension in 2 ways:

  • You build tension in 2 ways:

    • Complications
    • Complexity


Inciting Incident

  • Inciting Incident

  • Points of no return

  • Build, build, build!

  • Remember! Story moves forward only by conflict.



Complexity happens on 3 levels:

  • Complexity happens on 3 levels:

    • Inner Conflict
    • Personal Conflict
    • Extra-Personal Conflict


Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a perfect antagonist. She’s right. These are deranged men who cannot care for themselves.

  • Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a perfect antagonist. She’s right. These are deranged men who cannot care for themselves.



She is stern, but never, never unkind. She is perfectly justified to herself, which is what makes her so haunting and terrifying.

  • She is stern, but never, never unkind. She is perfectly justified to herself, which is what makes her so haunting and terrifying.



Now, please watch the clip from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

  • Now, please watch the clip from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest



  • Billy is internally conflicted in what ways?

  • How are the other characters experiencing inner conflict, particularly McMurphy?



  • With which other characters is Billy in conflict? Nurse Ratched yes, but who else?

  • How are the other characters in inner conflict and in conflict with each other?



  • In what ways are the characters in conflict with the larger world? (Families, the government and society with its concepts of mental illness might be three ways.)







In every scene, every sequence, every act and, of course, in the entire story.

  • In every scene, every sequence, every act and, of course, in the entire story.



Please watch the clip from Thelma & Louise.

  • Please watch the clip from Thelma & Louise.



In what state of power are Thelma & Louise at the beginning of the scene?

  • In what state of power are Thelma & Louise at the beginning of the scene?

  • Louise being watched by the women inside– what does she learn about herself through their eyes? Why does she throw away the lipstick?



What state of power are the women in at the end? How does each woman’s interpretation of where they stand conflict?

  • What state of power are the women in at the end? How does each woman’s interpretation of where they stand conflict?

  • How does their state of power in relation to the FBI agents and Thelma’s husband change?



Going back to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in what state of power are McMurphy, the patients and Billy Bibbit at the beginning of the scene?

  • Going back to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in what state of power are McMurphy, the patients and Billy Bibbit at the beginning of the scene?

  • What are some moments when they claim and lose power?



In Thelma & Louise, what are the 3 levels of complexity represented?

  • In Thelma & Louise, what are the 3 levels of complexity represented?

    • How are they in inner conflict?
    • Interpersonal conflict?
    • Extra-Personal conflict?




Read Chapter 9 in Story, “Act Design”.

  • Read Chapter 9 in Story, “Act Design”.

  • Do the Reading Review to be sure you’re clear on what you’ve read!



In a favorite film, cite a specific moment when the tension in the story ratchets up suddenly.

  • In a favorite film, cite a specific moment when the tension in the story ratchets up suddenly.

  • Considering today’s readings and lecture, identify why this scene is so effective.



Next Lecture:

  • Next Lecture:

  • Keeping the Audience in the Story




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