Past, Non-Story Narrative Film, and Nostalgia

Past, Non-Story Narrative Film, and Nostalgia

Akihito Kanai (Hosei University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7979-3.ch006

Abstract

Nostalgia effects are essential for cognition about the past. Also, film has a closer relationship with the past. Nostalgia-based film rhetoric composition can broaden the potential for narrative generation, especially from the perspective of non-story narratives, without using the story grammar and characters' goal-directed actions that were the central focus in previous studies. In this chapter, the film cognitive effects related to re-defining nostalgia through cutting techniques and defamiliarization of narrative rhetoric are particularly analyzed. Using a cognitive and computational model, the rhetoric of the film is classified into four kinds of nostalgia including non-nostalgia and analyzed in particular from the cognitive process perspective as it related to non-story and nostalgia. Next, a computerized classification is used to compose rhetoric and generate films for various kinds of nostalgia. The generated films revealed both the narrow story and broad non-story aspects of the rhetoric, narrative, and cognition of the past and the film.
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Introduction

In this paper, the past, non-story narrative film and nostalgia are especially focused from cognitive perspective. Also, computational narrative film rhetoric composition system, in particular with regards to the specific place and the past with or without story and nostalgia effects is argued.

The Nostalgia effects are essential for cognition about the past. A film has a closer relationship with the past, too. Nostalgia can emerge from every film. Nonetheless, some film directors, whose purpose is to create timeless films located in unknown places, do not want to generate the nostalgia effects with viewers. Non-nostalgia based narratives can be composed using the strategy for the nostalgia effects. Moreover, every film not only has past aspects but also present aspects, as the film may be viewed in the present time. To emphasize the present aspects of films, the strategy for the non-nostalgia cognitive effects must be involved. With cutting the cognition related to the past, non-nostalgia cognitive effects are generated. The reality effects of, or the nostalgia effects of, the narrative film can be enhanced or reduced by controlling the determinacy of story aspects of rhetoric and the indeterminacy of non-story aspects of rhetoric (Kanai, 2018).

Nostalgia-based film rhetoric composition can broaden the potential for narrative generation or simulation, especially from the perspective of non-story narratives, without using the story grammar and characters’ goal-directed actions that were the central focus in previous studies. For example, Jhale and Young (2010) argued that visual discourse generation formed story events. Although story-based plots and characters’ goal-directed actions are essential for visual narrative cognition and generation, stories can also constrain this (Ogata & Kanai, 2010). Past images in a film not associated with a specific story, words, or an event can evoke many kinds of nostalgia based on the viewers’ cognition. The past images and the cutting techniques, which can relax constraint with regard to the story, can be the main components of visual narrative generation system. It is also important to note that some nostalgia may relate to social memory. For example, a beautiful and successful past can be fixed in the social memory as simple nostalgia. The system presented in the chapter may splinter fixed memories in order to create the other histories. The social memory should not be one fixed on beautiful stories alone.

Narrative cognition is accomplished through the simultaneous processing of many factors. Generally, a story and its cognition are important factors to narrative cognition. Consequently, research on story grammar has been the primary computational and cognitive approach to narratives (e.g., Rumelhart, 1975; Thorndyke, 1977). Although these previous approaches primarily focused on the characters’ goal-directed actions, recent focus has turned to the visual narrative structure (e.g., Cohn, 2013, 2014). In addition to the stories’ or characters’ goal-directed actions, the non-story narrative and nostalgia aspects are important issues for narrative cognitions such as film cognition. Generally, a film consists of several past images, which are viewed during certain period of time after being filmed. Therefore, even one past image in a film without a specific story, words, or an event, also known as a non-story narrative, can evoke various forms of nostalgia based on the viewer’s cognition. Non-story visual narrative and the nostalgia effects should be the focus of research on narrative film cognition.

Nostalgia does not always follow comfortable cognition. Some nostalgia is evoked from a lost good past. Other nostalgia is evoked from an unforgettable bad past such as the disaster. Both types of nostalgia must be considered. Furthermore, nostalgia may emerge suddenly with a non-story. For these reasons, to compose various kinds of narrative film rhetoric, both kinds of nostalgia found in non-story narratives must be examined. In this chapter, the focus is on the computational and cognitive approach to non-story visual narrative and nostalgia in order to discuss and explore the entire narrative concept.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cognitive Transition: The transition in cognitive narrative processing, especially from story-based to non-story based.

Interpreted Nostalgia: Nostalgia that emerges from the reality or the uncertainty of the past with cognitive transition and de-familiarization.

Nostalgia: The emotions that arise from the rise and fall of other times in the place.

Non-Story Narrative: A collection of elements including images or texts, without a consistent story or specific event.

Simple Nostalgia: Nostalgia that emerges from the good past without cognitive transition and de-familiarization.

Reflexive Nostalgia: Nostalgia that emerges from both the good and bad past with cognitive transition and de-familiarization.

Cutting Technique: A technique used to irrationally cut film to create an irrational relationship.

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