The concept of affective tonality and its manifestation as narrative experience in the short film Bullseye (Hawkins, 2010)

Matthew Hawkins

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Abstract

This paper will explore the concept of affective tonality as a method of understanding narrative, as expressed through my own film practice as research. 'Bullseye' (Hawkins, 2010) is a short narrative film that encapsulates the narrative modes of Aristotelian linearity through simple „plotting‟ that centers on the British pub game of darts and a protagonist‟s attempts to achieve his goal of throwing a „bullseye‟. However, this paper will argue that the spectator experiences this narrative through the affective rhythm created by the movement within the frame, the variations of light andcolour on screen and the measure of thediagetic sound heard, and that this experience is as important to understanding the narrative as character identification and linearity. The film is an expression of the banal and the everyday, which does not lend itself to grand historical events. I will argue that the banal in 'Bullseye' is not a signifying, representational reproduction of banality, the banal is embodied in the film itself, and through the affective tone of the film it becomes embodied in the spectator. Drawing on concepts of affect and sensation developed by Gilles Deleuze, as well as his concept of the rhizome and minor-literature developed with Felix Guattari this paper shall map out the concept of affective tonality as a tool for understanding the holistic cinematic experience and how this can be then used to understand the physical mechanisms of narrative cinema
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-23
JournalCrossing conceptual boundaries III
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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Short Film
Tonality
Affective
Manifestation
Linearity
Practice as Research
Banality
Narrative Mode
Rhythm
Sound
Pubs
Physical
Spectator
Protagonist
Félix Guattari
Rhizome
Gilles Deleuze
Cinema
Minor Literature

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title = "The concept of affective tonality and its manifestation as narrative experience in the short film Bullseye (Hawkins, 2010)",
abstract = "This paper will explore the concept of affective tonality as a method of understanding narrative, as expressed through my own film practice as research. 'Bullseye' (Hawkins, 2010) is a short narrative film that encapsulates the narrative modes of Aristotelian linearity through simple „plotting‟ that centers on the British pub game of darts and a protagonist‟s attempts to achieve his goal of throwing a „bullseye‟. However, this paper will argue that the spectator experiences this narrative through the affective rhythm created by the movement within the frame, the variations of light andcolour on screen and the measure of thediagetic sound heard, and that this experience is as important to understanding the narrative as character identification and linearity. The film is an expression of the banal and the everyday, which does not lend itself to grand historical events. I will argue that the banal in 'Bullseye' is not a signifying, representational reproduction of banality, the banal is embodied in the film itself, and through the affective tone of the film it becomes embodied in the spectator. Drawing on concepts of affect and sensation developed by Gilles Deleuze, as well as his concept of the rhizome and minor-literature developed with Felix Guattari this paper shall map out the concept of affective tonality as a tool for understanding the holistic cinematic experience and how this can be then used to understand the physical mechanisms of narrative cinema",
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journal = "Crossing conceptual boundaries III",
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