l’histoire de la vie – an interactive multi-linear narrative

This is what I do at school…

This project is intended to take inspiration from the concept of a “semordnilaps”. A “semordnilaps” is a word (or pattern of any sort of thing) which creates
something new in reverse (the word itself is a reversal of the word palindromes). The project uses the visual film medium and the power of storytelling to create a
piece which can be viewed entirely in either directions of playback, creating two different experiences for the user, the giving the user control and agency over their
experience. The story could also be described as a “mise en abîme” because it is a never-ending narrative loop. The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning.
In this way, the narrative structure symbolically represents the central theme of the piece: the circle of life (hence the title, l’histoire de la vie).

FORWARDS

BACKWARDS

an IAT 313 final project
featuring Manon Pouget

Does storytelling promote stereotypes?

Stereotypes Conclusion

Does narrative create a limited worldview?

Are we taught from a young age to recognize stereotypes and project them onto other people?

In social justice work, sometimes “ignorance is bliss”. Sometimes it is easier to ignore a problem than it is to try to fix it, especially with large scale world issues (like poverty, disease… I notice this mentality so much being a vegan [and I used to experience it more than I do now])… So perhaps if we apply social justice to storytelling, short-form media is “taking the easy way out”. By relying on stock characters and stereotypes the creative doesn’t have to do the work of developing a “real” character. There isn’t time to in the realm of a short film. Details are either left out, or filled in by cultural and societal cues.

“It’s just rare to come upon a role that feels like a real human being.”

– Joseph Gordon-Levitt (on Ellen)

Or maybe, it isn’t limiting us. Maybe it is training us… to look beyond the surface and to seek for ourselves… or to challenge us to differentiate characters from human beings. We are all infinite.

Oh, and speaking of stereotypes…