The Different Types of Discourse in “Following” and Their Effects on the Viewer

1. Introduction

“Following” is a 1998 British neo-noir psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The story follows a young writer, Bill, who becomes obsessed with following strangers around London. He eventually meets a man named Cobb, who leads him into a life of crime. The film has received critical acclaim for its use of non-linear storytelling and its exploration of themes such as voyeurism, obsession, and identity.

2. What is “Following”?

“Following” is a 1998 British neo-noir psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The story follows a young writer, Bill, who becomes obsessed with following strangers around London. He eventually meets a man named Cobb, who leads him into a life of crime. The film has received critical acclaim for its use of non-linear storytelling and its exploration of themes such as voyeurism, obsession, and identity.

3. The Different Types of Discourse in “Following”

There are two types of discourse present in “Following”: diegetic discourse and extradiegetic discourse.

Diegetic discourse is the type of discourse that is directly related to the events that are taking place within the story. It includes dialogue, thoughts, and actions that are carried out by the characters within the story. In “Following”, diegetic discourse is used to create suspense and tension through Bill’s observations of the people he follows as well as the conversations he has with them. It also allows the viewer to sympathize with Bill as we see his gradual descent into obsession and madness.

Extradiegetic discourse is the type of discourse that is not directly related to the events taking place within the story. It includes thoughts and opinions that are not expressed by the characters within the story but are instead expressed by an external narrator. In “Following”, extradiegetic discourse is used to provide background information on the characters and their motivations. It also helps to create an air of mystery around Cobb and his true intentions towards Bill.

4. The Effects of Discourse in “Following”

The use of both diegetic and extradiegetic discourse in “Following” has multiple effects on the viewer. These effects include interest, perplexity, sympathy, and blame.

The first effect is interest. Diegetic discourse creates suspense and tension through Bill’s observations of the people he follows as well as the conversations he has with them. Extradiegetic discourse provides background information on the characters and their motivations which helps to create an air of mystery around Cobb and his true intentions towards Bill. This combination of diegetic and extradiegetic discourse makes “Following” an interesting film to watch as we are constantly kept guessing about what will happen next.

The second effect is perplexity. Diegetic discourse creates suspense and tension through Bill’s observations of the people he follows as well as the conversations he has with them. Extradiegetic discourse provides background information on the characters and their motivations which helps to create an air of mystery around Cobb and his true intentions towards Bill. This combination of diegetic and extradiegetic discourse leaves us feeling perplexed about what is going on throughout much of the film.

The third effect is sympathy. Diegetic discourse allows us to see into Bill’s mind and understand his motivations for following people. We see how his obsession gradually takes over his life and leads him down a path of madness. This allows us to sympathize with him even as we are repulsed by his actions.

The fourth effect is blame. Diegetic discourse allows us to see into Bill’s mind and understand his motivations for following people. We see how his obsession gradually takes over his life and leads him down a path ofmadness. This allows us to blame him for his actions even as we feel sympathy for him.

FAQ

Christopher Nolan uses narration in "Following" to give the audience insight into the thoughts and motivations of the characters.

This choice creates a more intimate connection between the viewer and the characters, as we are privy to information that they would not otherwise share.

This use of narration is relatively unique among films, as most rely on dialogue and action to convey story information.

Nolan likely made this decision in order to create a more personal experience for the viewer, one that allows them to connect with the characters on a deeper level.

The benefits of using narration in this way include creating a stronger connection between viewer and character, as well as providing information that would otherwise be left unsaid. However, it should be used sparingly so as not to overwhelm or confuse the audience, as too much narration can quickly become tedious.

Some other questions you might want to consider include: How does Nolan's use of narration compare to other filmmakers? What are some specific examples of how he uses narration effectively (or ineffective)?