Narrative Structures in Two Early Films

A comparison between Renoir’s La Regle du Jeu and Wiene’s “Des Cabinet des Dr. Caligari” to the classical Hollywood narrative structure.

The narrative strategies and artistic approaches of Wiene’s Des Cabinet des Dr. Caligari and Renoir’s “La R’gle du Jeu appear significantly different from both the classical Hollywood model and from each other to warrant comparative analysis. This essay examines the alternative narrative strategies used in both films in relation to the classic narrative system and briefly compares the formal, technical, and aesthetic approaches of the two films with each other.
Another interesting feature is the use of iris transitions to and from black to point out certain objects or characters in a frame. This can be used as a less jarring alternative to close-ups (of which there are few) and is especially effective when used to highlight the emotion of a dramatically important scene, such as the malevolent lingering on Caligari’s black striped glove as he lures Jane into his caravan, or when used to link related subjects, such as the iris close on Francis on the right side of the frame and subsequent iris open at the same place on the screen to reveal Jane near the start of the film.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *