"Drama" in Selected Iranian Cinema Posters: A Study in Structuralist Narratology

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate of Theater Studies, Faculty of Performing Arts and Music, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran.

2 Associate Professor of Performing Arts Department, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Fine Arts Department, University of Tehran


Despite the expansion of video media and virtual networks with the ability to share video, the poster is still one of the first and most important elements of a film that provides information about it to the audience. It is a poster that depicts the message and atmosphere of the movie in a fixed frame to attract the attention of the audience and invite them to watch the movie. Beyond the beauty and image of popular stars, the ideal poster offers thousands of things about the movie to the audience, because a picture more worthes than a thousand words. In fact, the small details of movie posters can easily convey important elements of the story, characters, genre and many other dramatic elements of the film to the audience and become the first narrative and dramatic element of the film. Searching for drama and narrative in two-dimensional arts such as posters is possible through different and intertextual readings. By knowing the concepts of narrative layers in Gerard Genet's theories of narratology, as well as familiarizing with the special features of cinematic narratives that have been proposed in the theories of people like Seymour Chatman, it is possible to examine the structure of drama in the narrative of a film and compare it with the narrative elements hidden in the corresponding poster. Establishing a connection between the two cinematic and visual texts and between the dramatic narrative in the film and the poster, a practical solution for creating dramatic and narrative posters has been offered. In this research, after introducing the drama and its components, the dramatic elements in selected posters of Iranian cinema have been analyzed based on the theories of narrative layers of Gerard Genet and Seymour Chatman's cinematic narrator. With the completion of this research, it became clear that by relying on the theory of narrative layers, narrative can be found in non-narrative and non-dramatic arts, and by referring to the theory of the cinematic narrator and knowing the tools of cinematic narration, it is possible to differentiate between the two mediums of film and Poster communicated and analyzed drama and story in these two media. In this method, the cinematic tools of the film convey the story and drama to us, and we reach the story from the cinematic discourse. Then, based on the story, the poster is studied to determine how the story and drama are displayed in the visual discourse of the poster. Based on the findings of this research, it can be stated that the drama in the posters of the 60s and 70s of Iranian cinema shows itself on three levels: on the first level, the genre and the theme of the movie are reflected in the poster. At the second level, the characters and the relationships between them are defined, and at the last level, the plot of the drama is conveyed to the audience through the depiction of the dramatic action.


Main Subjects

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