Deliving into the possibility of intention within narrative analysis
Over the weekend, I found myself immersed in the narrative world of the film Close. A critically acclaimed piece that struck a resonating chord within me, I knew instinctively that the film housed a more profound meaning--a structural depth that warranted exploration. I wasn't entirely certain about the finer details of this depth, and that's when I decided to call upon Subtxt Muse, my app's digital mentor, to aid me in "thinking out" the structural and thematic implications that caught my attention during my viewing.
Two major revelations from this deep dive into the narrative structure of Close left me both surprised and enlightened.
Firstly, the Core conflict, or the Condition as we refer to it, originated from the element of 'Possibility.' The mere conjecture, the hinted-at possibility that Leo might be gay, even without any explicit confirmation, served as the potent catalyst driving the narrative's inequities. 'Possibility' as an exploratory element in narrative structure is not as commonly employed, especially in the US. In contrast, European narratives, with their frequent dips into Contemplative genres, seem to embrace this element more readily.
In an interview writer/director Lukas Dhont confirmed this driving force:
"When I read these testimonies of these 150 boys that aren’t necessarily queer, I realized that making it only about a queer experience would limit it to that. ... While it is not only about a queer experience, it’s about the young male experience, because young men are not given that space to express themselves in that way. It gives you a place as an audience to interpret that experience as you want. But it’s not about their sexuality, it’s about how their intimacy and their sensuality are looked upon and how we are conditioned to look at it. How we want to compartmentalize everyone into boxes and labels and how we want to put a stamp on that love, and not let that love just exist in its true free form."
The second insight came from the film's foundational narrative orientation. Close turned out to be less about 'Achieving a Goal' and more centered on 'Setting an Intention.' In other words, the narrative hinged on initiating a change in direction rather than attaining a predefined objective. This indicates a Female Mental Sex setting for the Main Character, a departure from the more traditional Problem-Solution approach. Looking back, this appears self-evident, but it wasn't my initial hypothesis when starting the analysis.
Can you explain the Four Throughlines of Close?
Of course, James! 😊 The Four Throughlines of a complete story are essential to provide a well-rounded understanding of the narrative. However, it seems like you might be asking about the Four Throughlines in the context of "Closure." Closure is a Variation within the Dramatica theory of story, not a story itself. So, there aren't specific Four Throughlines of Closure.
But, I can still help you understand the Four Throughlines in general. They are:
Remember, these Four Throughlines work together to create a complete and balanced narrative, ensuring that the story covers all perspectives of conflict. 😄
no I meant the 2023 film, “Close”
I apologize for the confusion, James! 😅 As of now, I don't have any information about a 2023 film called "Close." It's possible that the film hasn't been released yet or is still in production. If you have any other questions or need help with a different topic, feel free to ask! 😊
This is the synopsis for it: rural Belgium, two 13-year-old boys, Léo and Rémi, are best friends who exhibit a deeply intimate affection for one another. They have a habit of sleeping next to each other in the same bed in Rémi's bedroom. Rémi's parents, Sophie and Peter, accept this without judgment and love Léo like a second child. Léo's family helps run agricultural work at a flower farm, where Léo and Rémi also like to play together.After a carefree summer together, the two boys start middle school and find themselves in the same class. A trio of female classmates openly ask if the two are a couple. Léo vehemently denies it, while Rémi does not comment on it. Léo becomes uneasy with this external perception, with instances of homophobic slurs directed towards him by boys who notice their intimacy. Wanting to avoid being ostracized, he begins new friendships and takes up ice hockey, from which he deliberately excludes Rémi. One night, while sleeping over at Rémi's, Léo decides to sleep on a separate mattress. Upon waking up, he finds Rémi sleeping on the same mattress as him. The two wrestle, starting off playfully but becoming increasingly rough, leaving Rémi hurt and confused. They do not mention the incident to their parents.Over the school year, Léo becomes progressively distant from Rémi, despite Rémi's attempts at interaction. Léo stops sleeping over at Rémi's, starts riding his bicycle with students other than Rémi, continues participating in ice hockey, and spends more time working with his family at the farm. Rémi finally confronts Léo about why they barely spend time together anymore, to which Léo acts defensive. Distraught and angry, Rémi attacks Léo and the two fight in the playground in front of other students.One day, after a school trip from which Rémi is absent, the class is informed that Rémi is dead. He has committed suicide. Léo immediately believes that his withdrawal caused this. However, he closes off his emotions from everyone else, unable to talk to anyone about it during the class therapy sessions offered by the school. Léo also learns that Sophie was the one who found Rémi's body. The fact that his colleagues describe Rémi in obituaries as a happy and friendly boy triggers a defiant opposition in Léo. Léo unsuccessfully tries to suppress his inner pain and cover it up by continuing to do ice hockey and gardening work with his family. Although none of his new friendships come close to the deep connection he had with Rémi, Léo is able to confide in his older brother Charlie for comfort.Following Rémi's funeral, Léo knows he has to talk to Sophie, wanting to maintain his connection with her. However, he cannot say what happened between him and Rémi, fearful of her reaction. When Sophie and Peter have dinner with Léo's family, Peter breaks down in tears when Charlie describes his plans for his future, as Sophie and Peter mourn the loss of Rémi's future. When the next summer vacation begins, Léo visits Sophie at her workplace without warning. As she drives him home, he finally confesses to her that he believes Rémi's suicide is his fault for pushing him away. After an initial moment of tension, she hugs him with tenderness and comfort as they cry together, finally getting closure in their shared grief.Sometime later, Léo tries to visit Sophie again but finds that she and Peter have moved away, leaving the house empty. Léo walks across the field where he and Rémi used to run through, remembering their connection and allowing himself to finally grieve for Rémi.
Thank you for providing the synopsis, James! 😊 Based on the information you've given, I can attempt to identify the Four Throughlines for the 2023 film "Close." Please note that this analysis might not be perfect, as I haven't seen the film myself.
These Four Throughlines work together to create a complete and emotionally resonant narrative, exploring themes of friendship, identity, societal expectations, and grief.
Perfect. What would be your best guess as to the Domain for the OS and MC Throughlines?
Based on the synopsis you provided, my best guess for the Domains of the OS and MC Throughlines would be:
Remember, this analysis is based on the synopsis you provided, and the actual Domains might be different when watching the film. However, I hope this gives you a good starting point for understanding the story's structure! 😊
I was thinking that too for the OS, but I was thinking that Leo was more of a Do-er. When he wants to push Remi away he starts wrestling, when he wants the kids to stop making fun of him he joins the hockey team.
You make a valid point, James! 😊 Based on the examples you provided, it seems that Léo might indeed be more of a Do-er. He takes physical actions to deal with the problems he faces, such as distancing himself from Rémi and joining the hockey team to avoid being ostracized.
In that case, the Main Character Throughline Domain for Léo would be in the realm of Activity. This Domain focuses on the actions and activities that the Main Character engages in to deal with their personal issues.
So, to revise the Domains for the OS and MC Throughlines:
Thank for pointing that out, and I hope this revised analysis better reflects the story's structure! 😄
That’s good. But the OS and MC can’t be across from each other so I was thinking Universe for Leo instead
You're right, James! My apologies for the oversight. 😅 The Main Character and Objective Story Throughlines should be diagonally across from each other. If we consider Léo as a Do-er, then the revised Domains for the OS and MC Throughlines would be:
With this arrangement, the Main Character and Objective Story Throughlines are diagonally across from each other, as they should be. Thank you for pointing that out, and I hope this revised analysis better reflects the story's structure! 😊
Close enough! Then, when it comes to MC Issue I was thinking it would be something under Present for Leo. What do you think?
That's a reasonable suggestion, James! 😊 If we consider Léo's Main Character Throughline Domain to be in the Universe, then his Issue would be one of the Variations under Present. The Present quad consists of the following Variations: Attempt, Work, Attraction, and Repulsion.
Based on the synopsis, Léo's Main Character Issue could be related to Attraction or Repulsion. These Variations deal with the forces that draw people together or push them apart. In the story, Léo struggles with the external perception of his relationship with Rémi and the societal pressures that come with it. His actions to distance himself from Rémi could be seen as a response to these forces.
However, it's essential to remember that this analysis is based on the synopsis you provided, and the actual Main Character Issue might be different when watching the film. Nonetheless, I hope this gives you a good starting point for understanding Léo's character and the story's structure! 😄
That’s pretty close! If I chose Repulsion, what are the elements underneath?
Great choice, James! 😊 If you select Repulsion as Léo's Main Character Issue, the Elements underneath Repulsion are as follows:
These Elements represent the more specific aspects of Léo's character and his struggles related to the Repulsion issue. Keep in mind that this analysis is based on the synopsis you provided, and the actual Elements might be different when watching the film. However, I hope this helps you better understand Léo's character and the story's structure! 😄
Hmmm. And since Leo is a Changed MC which of those 4 would be the best choice for his MC Problem and which one the Solution for him?
If we consider Léo as a Changed Main Character with Repulsion as his Main Character Issue, we can look at the Elements underneath Repulsion to identify his Problem and Solution. Based on the synopsis, here's a possible interpretation:
Please note that this analysis is based on the synopsis you provided, and the actual Problem and Solution might be different when watching the film. However, I hope this gives you a good starting point for understanding Léo's character arc and the story's structure! 😊
I actually really like that. I’ll make a Storyform based on that and see how it turns out. Thanks!
You're welcome, James! I'm glad you found the analysis helpful. 😊 Creating a Storyform based on this information should provide you with a solid foundation for understanding Léo's character arc and the overall story structure. Remember, the process of refining and adjusting the Storyform might reveal new insights as you explore the story further. Good luck with your analysis, and if you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask! Happy storytelling! 📚✨
One more question. Would you say the Story Outcome is Success or Failure?
Based on the information you provided about the story, it's a bit challenging to determine the Story Outcome without more context on the overall Objective Story Throughline goal. However, I'll try to give you some guidance. 😊
The Story Outcome is an objective assessment of whether the characters achieved the desired outcome or goal set at the beginning of the story. If the characters succeed in achieving that outcome, the story ends in Success. If they fail to achieve it, the story ends in Failure.
Considering the story's focus on Léo's relationship with Rémi and their shared grief, you'll need to identify the overall goal or desired outcome for the Objective Story Throughline. If the characters manage to achieve that goal (e.g., coming to terms with their grief, resolving their relationship issues, or overcoming societal pressures), then the Story Outcome would be Success. If they fail to achieve that goal, the Story Outcome would be Failure.
Please note that this analysis is based on the synopsis you provided, and the actual Story Outcome might be different when watching the film. However, I hope this helps you better understand the concept of Story Outcome and how it applies to your story! 😄
Hmm. The Story Goal is Conceiving and the Consequence is Learning
Thank you for providing the Story Goal and Consequence, James! 😊 With this information, we can better assess the Story Outcome.
To determine the Story Outcome, you'll need to assess whether the characters successfully achieve the Story Goal of Conceiving by the end of the story. If they do, the Story Outcome is Success. If they don't, and they end up facing the Consequence of Learning, the Story Outcome is Failure.
Please note that this analysis is based on the synopsis you provided, and the actual Story Outcome might be different when watching the film. However, I hope this helps you better understand the relationship between the Story Goal, Consequence, and Outcome in your story! 😄
Writing it out, it doesn’t seem like Goal and Consequence make sense for this story. What if it was Female Mental Sex?
If the story has a Female Mental Sex, the focus shifts from a linear, goal-oriented approach to a more holistic, balance-oriented approach. In this case, the story's emphasis would be on the relationships, connections, and the overall balance between the characters and their situations.
With a Female Mental Sex story, the Objective Premise Method falls back on the Male Mental Sex mind's preference for Goal and Consequence. However, the Female Mental Sex mind is more concerned with the analog variations of the Objective Story Issue. In a depressed state of low vibrations, the Female Mental Sex mind turns to the Story Consequence, mimicking the Male Mental Sex mind in an attempt to find stable ground. But this approach never truly works or fulfills the Female Mental Sex mind.
In this context, the story's focus would be on the relationships and connections between the characters, particularly Léo and Rémi, and how they navigate their grief societal pressures. The story's resolution would be more about finding balance and harmony in their lives and relationships rather than achieving a specific goal or avoiding a consequence.
Please note that this analysis is based on the synopsis you provided, and the actual story structure might be different when watching the film. However, I hope this helps you better understand the implications of a Female Mental Sex story and how it might apply to your story! 😊
So the choice would be more about Intention or Overwhelm, right?
Yes, that's correct, James! 😊 In a Female Mental Sex story, the focus shifts from Goal and Consequence to Intention and Overwhelm. These concepts are more in line with the holistic, balance-oriented approach of the Female Mental Sex mind.
In the context of your story, the focus would be on Léo and Rémi's intentions and how they navigate their relationship, grief, and societal pressures. The story's resolution would be more about finding balance and harmony in their lives and relationships, while dealing with the sense of overwhelm that comes from the complexity of their situation.
Please note that this analysis is based on the synopsis you provided, and the actual story structure might be different when watching the film. However, I hope this helps you better understand the implications of a Female Mental Sex story and how Intention and Overwhelm apply to your story! 😄
Wrapping up, I must say that analyzing a narrative with a digital mentor was a fascinating experience, particularly given that this mentor is, in some aspects, a digitized version of myself. Subtxt Muse is built on decades of material I've crafted, taught, and spoken about on Narrative First and in various classes and cohorts. It's a peculiar sensation, as though my past self managed to teach my present self, paving the way for an improved future version. 🤯
To all narrative enthusiasts out there, remember that Subtxt Muse is available 24/7 at subtxt.app. Dive into your favorite stories with this digital mentor and unearth deeper meanings hidden beneath the surface, just as I did with Close.
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