Barthes Code - Proairetic code

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Proairetic Code :

Proairetic Code Jodie Goodacre

Barth’s Codes of Narrative:

Barth’s Codes of Narrative Barthes theory of narrative included his belief that there will be one or more B arthes code within films which describe the meaning of the text. Our trailer matches Barthes theory of narrative as it incorporates each code using various examples of each.

Proairetic Code:

Proairetic Code The Proairetic code is one of the five Barthes codes. It refers to any other action or event that indicates that something is going to happen, and consequently gets the audience guessing as to what will happen next. This type of code is used many times throughout many films in order to build tension and suspense, and therefore making their film more interesting and enjoyable for the audience.

The Village :

The Village Examples of films that use the Proairetic code include various mystery/ detective genre films. An example of the Proairetic code is used within the trailer for the film “The Village”. This is an example of a Proairetic code as the scratching noise creates a sense of mystery. Once the female character sits up this scene ends. Therefore, creating it unclear for the audience as to what happened after this particular moment, leaving them wondering what happened. This example of the code is rather effective, due to the other components of the sequence, which truly enhance upon the mysterious sequence. The code is used within a point of view long shot, viewing a female character as a mysterious scratching occurs. This sequence shows the female character laying in bed. The signifier of the bed emphasises her vulnerability due to her laying down, seeming asleep. The point of view shot creates the impression that someone is spying on the character. This creates an eerie and intense atmosphere. The long shot also makes the character appear small, emphasising her vulnerability. scratching which does not have an explanation. This leaves the audience pondering about the unanswered questions and explanations. Therefore This Proairetic code here is rather effective because it makes this character appear small and vulnerable, as well as presenting the mysterious , we could be sure to use an example like this to present the mystery genre and to present a character to be weak or vulnerable.

Detective following Timothy:

Detective following Timothy Similarly to the Proairetic code within “The Village” we incorporated a sequence of the characters of Brain and Timothy to create our own Proairetic code. Brain is seen to be following Timothy without his knowledge. This is an example of a Proairetic code due to various reasons. The audience are not shown within the trailer as to why the protagonist is being followed by a mysterious figure. Therefore, this leaves them questioning the figures purpose. The low key lighting also enhances upon the negative presentation of Brian. The two shot of the characters walking allows the audience to see Timothy and Brian following him. This dramatic irony enhances upon how vulnerable the protagonist is as he is unaware of the character following him. We gained inspiration from the example within “The Village” as the female character appears to be small, making the audience wonder what will happen next. Overall, this example of the Proairetic code is quite effective as it creates suspense due to the mystery of the following figure of Brian and traditional dark and low key eerie setting.

Shutter Island:

Shutter Island There is also an example of the Proairetic code used within the mystery film of “Shutter Island”. This film trailer is concluded with the protagonist being attacked by a mysterious figure. This is a Proairetic code example as the trailer finishes after the quick attack, meaning the audience are not shown what happens afterwards. This therefore leaves the audience wondering what happened next, thus intriguing them to watch the full film. Once again, the protagonist appears to be vulnerable, as the mysterious character is seen to have complete control over the situation, leaving the protagonist as the victim. There is also a very harsh lighting contrast, with the black background and harsh high key lighting on the two characters. This further enhances upon the vulnerability of the protagonist, the mystery of the figure and the intense atmosphere from the setting and sudden intense situation. This s quite an effective sequence as it surprises the audience and causes them to wonder why this happened and what would occur next. We could include a Proairetic scene similar to this one, which could include a fight scene between two character to surprise and confuse the audience.

Detective arresting Timothy:

Detective arresting Timothy Our second example of a Proairetic code within our trailer is when Brian arrests Timothy. This is an example of Barth’s proairetic code as the detective is seen to arrest Timothy and it is not revealed to the audience in the trailer as to why he did so. Therefore, making his intention unclear. The audience have been previously introduced to Timothy’s character. They see him at his happiest and his lowest, meaning the audience will be familiar and comfortable with his character, clearly presenting him to be the good protagonist. Brian, however, has been introduced to be in small sections, making him appear sneaky and negative. When the audience see Brian arresting Timothy, they instantly associate Brian to be the antagonistic character due to his negative representation. Thus making the audience worry for Timothy in the hands of the antagonistic looking character. This is quite an effective sequence, as it presents Timothy to be a weak victim, contrasting to his position of being the protagonist and his abnormal ability. It also makes the audience question why Brian arrested Timothy and what of if Timothy did anything which would have caused him to be arrested, adding to the mystery genre of the film and causing the audience desire to view the full production.


Lucy There is also a proairetic code example within the action film of “Lucy”. Here, the main character is seen to be in pain as she hits into the wall in a weak state. She appears to be physically hurt, as seen through her expression, action of dizziness and the editing used to create a slight blurred and delayed effect on her as she moves. This is a proairetic code example as it is unclear to the audience why she is in this state. This highly contrasts to the previous representations of Lucy as she is seen to be a strong and powerful character. Therefore, when she is viewed to be weak, it surprises the audience as makes them wonder as to why she is weak. This is an interesting example of Barths code, and so we could include a proairetic example within our own trailer which could be similar. For example, one of our character’s could be viewed to be in pain which would contrast to their previous character presentation.

Timothy in pain:

Timothy in pain Lastly, another proairetic code example within our trailer is the sequences of which show Timothy to be cradling his head in pain. Timothy is presented in various close up and extreme close up shots to be rocking back and forth in pain after being given the watch by Agnes. His pain does not have a clear reason, meaning this will confuse the audience and make them wonder as to why he is in this state. These shot types allow the audience to clearly focus on his character, as well as his desperate and weak state. This contrasts highly to his later representation to be time traveling and his powerful ability. Just as the example within “Lucy”, the protagonist is seen to be in pain. This contrasts to his powerful presentation, and causes the audience to wonder what the cause of this is, gaining their attention. This is an effective example of the proairetic code as it allows the audience to wonder for themselves as to the cause of the pain, and also intrigues them further into the film, making it overall more interesting for the audience.

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