MAS.845 | Spring 2004 | Graduate

Special Topics in Cinematic Storytelling


Readings (PDF)


Aristotle. Poetics. Translated by Leon Golden. Englewood-Cliffs: Prentice-Hill, 1968.

Bachelard, G. The Poetics of Space. Translated by Maria Jolas. New York: The Orion Press, 1994.

Bailey, D. Improvisation: Its Nature and Practice in Music. US: Da Capo Press, 1993.

Bal, M. Narratology. Toronto/Buffalo/London: University of Toronto Press Inc., 1997.

Barrett, E., and M. Redmond. Contextual Media: Multimedia and Interpretation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.

Barnouw, E. Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Barsam, R. Nonfiction Film, Theory and Criticism. New York: Dutton, 1976.

Barthes, R. Image, Music, Text. Translated by Stephen Heath. London: Fontana Press, 1977.

Blood, R. We’ve Got Blog: How Weblogs are Changing Our Culture. New York: Perseus Publishing, 2002.

Bonnet, J. Stealing Fire from the Gods. Michael Wiese Productions, 1999.

Branigan, E. Narrative Comprehension and Film. London: Routledge, 1992.

Brackage, S. Essential Brackage: Selected Writings on Filmmaking by Stan Brackage. New York: McPherson and Company, 2001.

Bringsjord, S., and D. Ferrucci. Artificial Intelligence and Literary Creativity: Inside the Mind of Brutus. Mahwah/London: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2000.

Brooks, P. Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative. New York: Vintage/Random House, 1984.

Bruner, J. Acts of Meaning. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 1990.

———. Actual Minds, Possible Worlds. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 1986.

Burch, N. Theory of Film Practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981.

Burnham, J. The Structure of Art. New York: G. Braziller, 1973.

Cage, J. Silence; Lectures and Writings. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1966.

Campbell, J. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. 1973 reprint of 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.

Chandler, Alfred D. Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries. New York: Free Press, 2001.

Chatman, S. Coming to Terms: The Rhetoric of Narrative in Fiction and Film. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press, 1990.

Chion, M. Audio-vision: Sound on Screen. Translated by Claudia Gorbman. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Field, S. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. Expanded version. New York: Dell, 1994.

Frost, A., and R. Yarrow. Improvisation in Drama. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990.

Genette, G. Narrative Discourse Revisited. Translated by Jane E. Lewin. Ithaka: Cornell University Press, 1988.

———. Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Translated by Jane E. Levin. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980.

Clifford, G. The Interpretation of Cultures. USA: BasicBooks, A Division of HarperCollins Publishers, 1973.

———. Local Knowledge. USA: BasicBooks, A Division of HarperCollins Publishers, 1983.

Eisenstein, S. Film Form: Essays in Film Theory. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949.

Hanhardt, J. G. Nam June Paik. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art in association with W.W. Norton, 1982.

Heble, A. Landing on the Wrong Note: Jazz, Dissonance, and Critical Practice. New York: Routledge, 2000.

Gorbman, C. Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music. London: bfi Publ., 1987.

Herman, D. Story Logic: Problems and Possibilities of Narrative. Frontiers of Narrative Series. Lincoln/London: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.

Hillier, B. Space Is the Machine: A Configurational Theory of Architecture. Cambridge/Melbourne/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Hillis, K. Digital Sensations: Space, Identity and Embodiment in Virtual Reality. Vol. 1, Electronic Mediations. Minneapolis/London: University of Minnesota Press, 1999.

Hockings, P. Principles of Visual Anthropology. The Hague, Netherlands: Mouton Publishers, 1975.

Hofstadter, D. R. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. New York: Vintage Books, 1979.

Johnstone, K. Impro for Storytellers: Theatresports and the Art of Making Things Happen. London: Faber and Faber, 1999.

———. Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre. London: Methuen Publ., 1989.

Kearney, R. On Story. Thinking in Action Series. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Lakoff, G. “Structural Complexity in Fairy Tales.” In The Study of Man. Vol. 1. 1972, pp. 128-150.

Laurel, B. Computers as Theatre. 2nd ed. Reading: Addison-Wesley Publ., 1993.

Levy, P. Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World in Cyberspace. Translated by Robert Bononno. New York and London: Plenum Press, 1997.

Levi-Strauss, C. Structural Anthropology. Vol. 1, and 2. New York: Penguin, 1968.

Lipman, D. Improving Your Storytelling: Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories in Work or Play. Little Rock: August House, 1999.

Lothe, J. Narrative in Fiction and Film: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Lowe, R. Improvisation, Inc.: Harnessing Spontaneity to Engage People and Groups. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 2000.

Macdonald, K. Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of the Documentary. London, Boston: Faber and Faber, 1996.

Macorelles, L. Living Cinema: New Directions in Contemporary Filmmaking. New York: Praeger, 1973.

Manovich, L. The Language of New Media. Cambridge, MA/London: MIT Press, 2001.

Levin, R. Documentary Explorations: 15 Interviews with Film-makers. Garden City: Doubleday, 1971.

Marshall, J. “Filming and Learning.” In The Cinema of John Marshall. Edited by J. Ruby. Berkshire: Harwood Academic Press, 1993, pp. 1-21.

Martin, W. Recent Theories of Narrative. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986.

McCloud, S. Understanding Comics. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994.

May, R. The Courage to Create. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1976.

McAdams, S. “Music: A Science of the Mind.” In Contemporary Music Review. Edited by S. Mac Adams. London: Gordon & Breach, 1987.

McKee, R. Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting. London: Methuen Publ., 1998.

McLaughlin, T. Street Smarts and Critical Theory: Listening to the Vernacular. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996.

McLuhan, M. Understanding Media: The Extension of Man. 1997 reprint, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1987.

Minsky, M. Society of Mind. Simon & Schuster, 1988.

———. The Emotion Machine. (To appear)

Pearson, C. S. The Hero Within - Six Archetypes We Live By. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1989.

Philips, M. A., and C. Huntley. Dramatica, a New Theory of Story. 4th ed. Screenplay Systems, 2001.

Mulller, Erik T. “Story Understanding.” In Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Edited by Lynn Nadel. London: Nature Publishing Group, 2002.

Murray, J. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997.

Nash, C. “Narrative and Fact.” In Narrative in Culture: The Uses of Storytelling in the Sciences, Philosophy and Literature. New York: Routledge, 1990.

Nussbaum, Martha C. Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Packer, R., and K. Jordan, eds. Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality. US: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001.

Popper, F. Art of the Electronic Age. London: Thames and Hudson, 1993.

Propp, V. Morphology of the Folktale. 2nd ed. Translated by Laurence Scott, and edited by Louis A. Wagner. University of Texas Press. Republished: Austin/London: University of Texas Press, (1968, 1969).

Rieser, M., and A. Zapp, eds. The New Screen Media: Cinema/Art/Narrative. London: British Film Institute, 2002.

Roemer, M. Telling Stories. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., 1995.

Ricoeur, P. Time and Narrative. 3 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

———. “Life in Quest of Narrative.” In On Paul Ricoeur: Narrative and Interpretation. Edited by D. Wood. London: Routledge, 1991.

———. Narrative Identity, Oneself as Another. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

———. “The Memory of Suffering.” In Figuring the Sacred: Religion, Narrative and Imagination. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.

Rowe, R. Interactive Music Systems: Machine Listening and Composing. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993.

Ryan, M. L. Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media. Parallax: Re-Visions of Culture and Society, Baltimore/London: The John Hopkins University Press, 2001.

———. Possible Worlds: Artificial Intelligence and Narrative Theory. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

Salen, K., and E. Zimmerman. Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. Cambridge, Ma: MIT Press, 2003.

Schank, R., and R. Abelson. Scripts, Plans, Goals, and Understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Earlbaum Assoc., 1977.

Schank, R. Explanation Patterns: Understanding Mechanically and Creatively. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publisher, 1986.

———. Dynamic Memory Revisited. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Scholes, R., and R. Kellogg. The Nature of Narrative. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966.

Schön, D. Educating the Reflective Practitioner. Presentation to the American Educational Research Association in Washington, DC, 1987.

Sitney, P. A. Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.

———, ed. “Autobiography in Avant-Garde Film.” In The Avant-Garde Film: A Reader of Theory and Criticism. New York: New York University Press, 1978.

Shaw, J., and P. Weibel, eds. Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary after Film. ZKM center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe. Cambridge, Ma: MIT Press, 2003.

Sherman, S. Documenting Ourselves: Film, Video and Culture. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998.

Smith, H., and R. Dean. Improvisation, Hypermedia and the Arts Since 1945. Amsterdam, The Netherland: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997.

Stanzel, F. K. A Theory of Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Stooss, T., and T. Kellein, eds. Nam June Paik: Video Time, Video Space. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1993.

Rumelhart, D. “Notes on a Schema for Stories.” In Representation and Understanding: Studies in Cognitive Science. Edited by D. Bobrow, and A. Collins, New York: Academic Press, 1975, pp. 211-236.

Tabor, J., ed. Otto Laske: Navigating New Musical Horizons. [Contributions to the Study of Music and Dance, no. 53], Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999.

Tarkovsky, A. Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the Cinema. Texas: University of Texas Press, 1989.

Taylor, C. Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989.

Todorov, T. Genres in Discourse. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

———. The Poetics of Prose. Translated by Richard Howard. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1977.

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Tolkien Reader. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968.

Turkle, S. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Vogler, C. The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters. Studio City: Michael Wiese Productions, 1992.

Voytilla, S. Myth and the Movies: Discovering the Mythic Structure of 50 Unforgettable Films. Studio City: Michael Wiese Productions, 1999.

Walker, Steven F. Jung and the Jungians on Myth. New York/London: Routledge, 1995.

Wilson, George M. Narration in Light: Studies in Cinematic Point of View. 1992 reprint, Baltimore/London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.

Conference and Journal Papers

Barry B., and G. Davenport. “Documenting Life: Videography and Common Sense.” In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Multimedia. Maryland, New York: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2003.

Bers, M. U. “Narrative Construction Kits: Who am I? Who are You? What are We?” Proceedings of “Narrative Intelligence” Fall Symposium, AAAI'99. 1999, pp. 44-51.

Crawford, C. “Assumptions Underlying the Erasmatron Interactive Storytelling Engine.” In Proceedings of the AAAI Fall Symposium on Narrative Intelligence. 1999.

Davenport, G. “Your Own Virtual Storyworld.” Scientific American 283, no. 5 (November 2000): 79-82.

Davenport, G., B. Bradley, S. Agamanolis, B. Barry, and K. Brooks. “Synergistic Storyscapes and Constructionist Cinematic Sharing.” IBM Systems Journal 39, no. 3-4 (2000): 456-469.

Davenport, G. Very Distributed Media Stories: Presence, Time, Imagination. Euro-Par ‘98 Parallel Processing, Proceedings. Springer-Verlag, 1998, pp. 47-54.

Guignon, C. “Narrative Explanation in Psychotherapy.” American Behavioral Scientist 14, no.4 (January 1998): 558-75.

Hayes-Roth, B. “Directed Improvisation: A New Paradigm for Computer Games.” In Proceedings of the Computer Game Developers’ Conference. Santa Clara, California, 1995.

Leacock, R. “Ethnographic Observation and the Super-8 Millimeter Camera.” 1977. (Unpublished Article)

———. “In Defense of the Flaherty Traditions.” 1990. (Unpublished Article)

Mateas, M., and A. Stern. “Architecture, Authorial Idioms and Early Observations of the Interactive Drama Façade.” In Carnegie Mellon University Computer Science Technical Reports, CMU-CS-02-198. 2002.

Metcalfe, R. “The Internet after the Fad.” Remarks of Dr. Robert Metcalfe at the University of Virginia. 1996.

Minsky, M. “Music, Mind, and Meaning.” Computer Music Journal 5, no. 3 (1981): 28-44. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Mueller, Erik T. “Story Understanding through Multi-representation Model Construction.” In Text Meaning: Proceedings of the HLT-NAACL 2003 Workshop. Edited by Graeme Hirst, and Sergei Nirenburg. East Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics, 2003, pp. 46-53.

Negroponte, N. The Impact of Optical Videodiscs on Filmmaking. 1979. (Unpublished Paper)

Olson, S. R. Modes of Reception in World Media Markets. Hollywood Planet: Global Media and the Competitive Advantage of Narrative Transparency. NJ: Erlbaum, 1999.

Puckette, M. “Combining Event and Signal Processing in the MAX Graphical Programming Environment.” Computer Music Journal 15, no. 3 (Fall 1991): 68-77.

Reed, David P. “That Sneaky Exponential - Beyond Metcalfe’s Law to the Power of Community Building.” Context, 1999.

Ruby, J. “The Image Mirrored: Reflexivity and the Documentary Film.” Journal of the University Film Association 29, no. 4 (1977).

Schank, Roger C., and Robert P. Abelson. “Knowledge and Memory: The Real Story.” In Advances in Social Cognition. Vol. 3. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1995.

Singh, P. “Examining the Society of Mind.” To appear in the journal Computing and Informatics (2004).

Singh, P., and B. Barry. “Collecting Common Sense Experiences.” In the Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Knowledge Capture (K-CAP 2003). Florida, USA, 2003.

Strohecker, C., K. Brooks, and L. Friedlander. “Tired of Giving in: An Experiment in Narrative Unfolding.” Available as Technical Report 99-16. Cambridge, MA: MERL - A Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory.

Tames, D., and P. Apley. “An Evening with David Reed: Bits are not Bites! Balkanizing Spectrum Creates Scarcity.” Meeting Notes: MIT Wireless Forum, 2002.


Bers, M. U. “Identity Construction Environments: The Design of Computational Tools for Exploring a Sense of Self and Moral Values.” Ph.D. Thesis, MIT Media Laboratory, 2001.

Brooks, K. “Metalinear Cinematic Narrative: Theory, Process, and Tool.” Ph.D. Thesis, MIT Media Laboratory, 1999.

Galyean, Tinsley A. “Narrative Guidance of Interactivity.” Ph.D. Thesis, MIT Media Laboratory, 1995.

Halliday, Mark D. “Digital Cinema: An Environment for Multi-threaded Stories.” MS Thesis, MIT Media Laboratory, 1993.

Mateas, M. “Interactive Drama, Art and Artificial Intelligence.” Ph.D. Thesis, Carnegie Mellon University, 2002.

Morgenroth, Lee H. “Movies, Talkies Thinkies: An Experimental Form of Interactive Cinema.” MS Thesis, MIT Media Laboratory, 1992.

Murtaugh, M. “The Automatist Storytelling System: Putting the Editor’s Knowledge in Software.” MS Thesis, MIT Media Laboratory, 1996.

Rubin, B. “Constraint-Based Cinematic Editing.” MS Thesis, MIT Media Laboratory, 1989.

Strohecker, C. “Electronic Collage: The Videodisc and Interactive Narrative.” MS Thesis, MIT Media Laboratory, 1986.

Exemplary Materials

Lippman, Andy, et al. Aspen Movie Map. MIT Media Laboratory, 1978.

Dramatica. Screenplay Systems, 1993-2001.

Resnais, Alain. Last Year at Marienbad. 1961.

Myst. Broderbund, 1993.

Davenport, Glorianna, et al. New Orleans in Transition, 1983-1987. MIT Media Laboratory, 1987.

Krizanc, John. Tamara. Theatre Event, First performed in 1981.

Sierra. The Colonel’s Bequest. 1989.

The Sims. Electronic Arts Inc., 2001.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2004
Learning Resource Types
Projects with Examples