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Completed research project

Title / Titel Decentered Character Constellations in Films From the 90's
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Original title / Originaltitel Dezentrierte Figurenkonstellationen in den Filmen der 90er Jahre
Summary / Zusammenfassung The project's emphasis is on the narrative dynamic in films without individual main characters and their forms of implication for viewers. Since the end of the 80's, decentred character constellations increasingly inform narrative films, especially those of independent European and American cinema. These form the bulk of the main research corpus. In addition, films from earlier eras are included as reference points as well as films from other narrative traditions (Africa, Hong Kong) and genres (documentary film, soap opera).
Decentred character constellations in recent fiction film can be allocated mainly to two prototypical models: 1) the character ensemble or the open, differentiated group; 2) the character mosaic, wherein the individual characters or couples build a relational framework through social and film aesthetical mesh structures.
Narrative coherence and plastic cohesion generally develop in these films through social and spatial relationships of the figures in the possible world of the diegesis and through comparative, circular and ornamental narrative forms in montage.
Both discourse models of fiction and non-fiction approach each other through the decentred narrative form which tends to socio-political description. They stand thereby in a relatively close relationship to ordinary forms of perception and to people's contemporary social experience (society's atomisation vs. networking structures of open social relationships, cultural collage and associative communications systems like Internet).
Publications / Publikationen "Hierarchien und Figurenkonstellationen", in: Britta Hartmann und Eggo Mueller (Hg.), 7. Film- und Fernsehwissenschaftliches Kolloquium/Potsdam 1994, Berlin: Gesellschaft fuer Theorie und Geschichte audiovisueller Kommunikation, 1995, S. 20-27.

"De quelques facettes du personnage humain dans le film de fiction" (with Henry M Taylor), in: Iris, Nr. 24, Paris, 1997, S. 33-57.

"WALK THE WALK oder: Mit beiden Fuessen auf dem Boden der unsicheren Realitaet. Eine Filmerfahrung im Grenzbereich zwischen Fiktion und Authentizitaet", in: Montage/av, Nr. 7/2, Berlin, 1998, S. 79-90.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe narration, description, character constellation, decentred structures, fiction/non-fiction, intertextuality, intermediality, Narration, Beschreibung, Figurenkonstellationen, dezentrierte Erzaehlmuster, Fiktion/Nichtfiktion, Intertextualitaet, Intermedialitaet
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr Margrit Tröhler (Project Leader)
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Apr 1999 to Sep 2001