Essay on Narrative Report on 'Vertigo'

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Assignment 1: Narrative report on Vertigo

Establishing the difference between the story and the plot allows one to determine the effect each element has on the understanding and interpretation of the piece. It also provides a way of tracking the continuation of events and the relationship between seemingly isolated moments in time. Film Art clearly defines both story and plot but acknowledges that there is a significant overlap between the two functions and allows a flow within the film. The plot is the presentation of the events, in chronological order and includes the events that are seen, inferred and assumed by the viewer as opposed to the story. The story refers to the way in which the plot is presented, the ‘personality’ imposed
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The opening scene introduces us to the person we later learn is John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson, something that does not play out until much later in the film relates to the demonstration of the debilitating extent of Johns inability to act in the face of heights, once with the police officer and then with his love whom he cant stop because of his fear. The opening scene builds on the credits by creating the expectation of suspense and thrill and mystery shrouding the true identity and relation of characters and setting up the disposableness of characters in the film, this adds to the complexity of Madeline’s disease as the audience cant tell whether, or more when, she will die.
The rooftop chase creates an expectation of dark drama, which moves into the scene with Midge in a light filled room where Scottie appears to be in control of his fear and the relationship between the two characters is established, whilst not technically part of the opening scene it instantly makes the viewer question whether their interpretation of the initial segment of the film was correct, already one is questioning their ability to pick the direction of the film.

In a sense, the closing scene is the exact opposite of the opening scene, scotty and Judy/Madeline are scaling the very stairs that rendered him
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