Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Told and untold. Telling a story and “untelling” it.

Posted on | February 12, 2014 | No Comments

By classic definition a story is a definite action that has beginning, development and ending. Story has its protagonists, time, space, and other narrative elements. All in all story is something definite, and that’s why we want to tell it and hear it. I never heard anyone saying “Let you tell you something.” instead of “Let me tell you something”. In a modern prose and poetry untold bits became significant element which immerses reader/viewer and makes him more active subject in it. But untold bits are also definite – there is no author who tells us everything. There is always something untold – still, story consist of something told and definite, while untold moments are rather like a tool that writer uses to make readers participate more actively in told parts.
Interactive stories where a reader (or a consumer?!) chooses its ending didn’t really work so far but as a curiosities. Apertures, warmholes, hyperlinks and other tools of a database novel or other contempo narrative art pieces worked perfectly as a narrative tools of coherent stories. Or as a vehicle for travelling through them. And that is alright.
Some narrative pieces have really big missing parts in a story and that’s what makes them in certain way untellable. No way that you can tell what really happened. I dare to say like in some Harold Pinter’s plays. But we agree that an active ‘aperture’ in a story actually is a storyteller’s tool to activate reader.
But, can the stories be stories if they are totally untellable? Actually the main question for me is where is the difference between a clay and a sculpture in order that sculpture can still be called a sculpture? Where is the division line between story and a toy? And finally, between an art and AR?


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