The establishment of interpretative expectations in film

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In this paper we show that some notions from the textual organisation of verbal texts appear also to give insights to the organisation of films. In particular, the beginnings of films are suggested to operate as indicators of those films’ ‘method of development’ and so serve to set up expectations for guiding hypotheses and selective attention during film viewing. By means of a small exploratory study, we demonstrate that film beginnings exhibit differing organisational features that correlate with the overall narrative strategies pursued in the films as a whole. These features may then function as useful indicators for viewers concerning just what interpretative challenges they will face later in the film.


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