Thursday, March 29, 2007


Holy-cripes. Next week we look at Casablanca and Amelie in relation to the Dramatica theory.

Casablanca is an Oscar-winning 1942 romantic film set during World War II in the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca. The film was directed by Michael Curtiz, and stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund. It focuses on Rick's conflict between, in the words of one character, love and virtue: he must choose between his love for Ilsa and his need to do the right thing by helping her husband, Resistance hero Victor Laszlo, escape from Casablanca and continue his fight against the Nazis.
The film was an immediate hit, and it has remained consistently popular ever since. Critics have praised the charismatic performances of Bogart and Bergman, the chemistry between the two leads, the depth of characterisation, the taut direction, the witty screenplay and the emotional impact of the work as a whole.

Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain), also known simply as Amélie, is a 2001 French romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou. Written by Guillaume Laurant (also dialogue) and Jeunet, the film is a whimsical and somewhat idealised depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre.
The film was released in France, Belgium, and French-speaking western Switzerland in April 2001, with subsequent screenings at various film festivals followed by releases around the world.
Amélie won best film at the European Film Awards; it won four César Awards (including Best Film and Best Director), two BAFTA Awards (including Best Original Screenplay), and was nominated for five Academy Awards. It is the highest-ranking French movie in the IMDb's Top 250. (See below for other awards and recognition.)

Dramatica is a theory of story that was developed by Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley in the early 1990s. Dramatica is also a computer program based on the theory and published by Write Brothers, Inc. (formerly Screenplay Systems Incorporated).

Dramatica theory is based upon the idea of the "story mind." The theory posits that every complete story is a holistic model of the problem solving process of the mind. Stories must examine all significant approaches to resolving the central problem of the story to be complete. The theory provides a systematic and complicated framework for creating and analyzing stories that are published in film or print.

The theory involves identifying the main character and an "impact character." A protagonist is often, but not always, the main character of a story. "Impact characters" have an ideology that conflicts with the main character. The story is divided and analyzed across four perspective "throughlines":
  • Overall story
  • View of the main character.
  • View of the impact character.
  • Relationship of main and impact characters.

Theory terminology has shifted gradually. Impact characters are still referred to as "obstacle characters" in some instances.

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