Nonlinear narrative  

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{{Template}} {{Template}}
-:''[[Nonlinear narrative]]''+:''[[nonlinearity]]''
-In the [[arts]], the word '''nonlinear''' is used to describe events portrayed in a non-[[chronological]] manner. This technique is often used to mimic the structure and recall of human [[memory]], but it has been applied for other reasons as well. +'''Nonlinear narrative''' or '''disrupted narrative''' is a [[narratology|narrative technique]], sometimes used in [[literature]], [[film]], [[hypertext]] websites and other narratives, wherein events are portrayed out of [[chronological]] order and are usually dictated by user choices and set parameters within the media. It is often used to mimic the structure and recall of human [[memory]] but has been applied for other reasons as well. The term has a slightly different meaning in the context of [[video game]]s, where it refers to the possibility of narrating different stories depending on the player's actions in the game.
-==Examples of nonlinearity==+==Literature==
 +Beginning a narrative ''[[in medias res]]'' (Latin: "into the middle of things") began in ancient times as an oral tradition and was established as a convention of [[epic poetry]] with [[Homer|Homer's]] ''[[Iliad]]'' in the 8th century BC. The technique of narrating most of the story in [[flashback]] also dates back to the [[Indian epic poetry|Indian epic]], the ''[[Mahabharata]]'', around the 5th century BC. Several medieval ''[[One Thousand and One Nights|Arabian Nights]]'' tales such as "[[Sinbad the Sailor]]", "[[The City of Brass]]" and "[[The Three Apples]]" also had nonlinear narratives employing the ''in medias res'' and flashback techniques.
-===In literature===+From the late 1800s and early 1900s, [[modernist literature|modernist]] novelists [[Joseph Conrad]], [[Virginia Woolf]], [[Ford Madox Ford]], [[Marcel Proust]], and [[William Faulkner]] experimented with narrative chronology and abandoning linear order.
 +
 +Examples of nonlinear [[novel]]s are: [[Laurence Sterne|Laurence Sterne's]] ''[[The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman]]'' (1759-67), [[Thomas Carlyle|Thomas Carlyle's]] ''[[Sartor Resartus]]'' (ca. 1833), [[Emily Brontë|Emily Brontë's]] ''[[Wuthering Heights]]'' (1847), [[James Joyce| James Joyce's]] ''[[Ulysses (novel)|Ulysses]]'' (1922) and ''[[Finnegans Wake]]'' (1939), [[William S. Burroughs|William S. Burroughs']] ''[[Naked Lunch]]'' (1959), [[Joseph Heller|Joseph Heller's]] ''[[Catch-22]]'' (1961), [[Kurt Vonnegut| Kurt Vonnegut's]] ''[[Slaughterhouse-Five]]'' (1969), [[Milorad Pavić (writer)|Milorad Pavić's]] ''[[Dictionary of the Khazars]]'' (1988), [[Irvine Welsh|Irvine Welsh's]] ''[[Trainspotting (novel)|Trainspotting]]'' (1993) and [[Carole Maso|Carole Maso's]] ''Ava: a novel'' (1993).
-Well-known examples of nonlinear [[novel]]s are [[Laurence Sterne]]'s ''[[Tristram Shandy]]'', [[Thomas Carlyle]]'s ''[[Sartor Resartus]]'', [[James Joyce]]'s ''[[Ulysses]]'' and ''[[Finnegans Wake]]'', [[William S. Burroughs]]' ''[[Naked Lunch]]'', [[Joseph Heller]]'s ''[[Catch-22]]'', and [[Carole Maso]]'s book ''Ava: a novel'' (1993). The technique has been used since the beginnings of literature (see [[In media res]]).+[[Scott McCloud]] argues in [[Understanding Comics]] that the narration of comics is nonlinear because it relies on the reader's choices and interactions.
-===In film===+All of [[Chuck Palahniuk]]'s work feature nonlinear narratives.
-Nonlinearity has become very common in [[film]]. Some good examples of movies with nonlinear plots include ''[[Memento]]'', ''[[Pulp Fiction (film)|Pulp Fiction]]'', ''[[21 Grams]]'', ''[[The Prestige]]'', ''[[Kill Bill]]'', ''[[Run Lola Run]]'' as well as ''[[Andrei Tarkovsky]]'''s ''[[The Mirror (1975 film)|The Mirror]]''.+==Film==
 +Defining nonlinear structure in film is, at times, difficult. Films may use extensive [[flashback]]s or [[flashforward]]s within a linear storyline, while nonlinear films often contain linear sequences. [[Orson Welles|Orson Welles']] ''[[Citizen Kane]]'' (1941), influenced structurally by ''[[The Power and the Glory (film)|The Power and the Glory]]'' (1933), and [[Akira Kurosawa|Akira Kurosawa's]] ''[[Rashomon (film)|Rashomon]]'' (1950) use a non-chronological flashback narrative that is often labeled nonlinear.
-===In video games===+===Silent and early era===
 +Experimentation with nonlinear structure in film dates back to the [[silent film]] era, including [[D.W. Griffith|D.W. Griffith's]] ''[[Intolerance (film)|Intolerance]]'' (1916) and [[Abel Gance|Abel Gance's]] ''[[Napoléon (1927 film)|Napoléon]]'' (1927). Nonlinear film emerged from the French [[avant-garde]] in 1929 with [[Luis Buñuel]] and [[Salvador Dali|Salvador Dali's]] ''[[Un Chien Andalou]]'' (English: ''An Andalusian Dog''). The [[surrealist]] film jumps into fantasy and juxtaposes images, granting the filmmakers an ability to create statements about the Church, art, and society that are left open to interpretation Buñuel and Dali's ''[[L'Âge d'or]]'' (1930) (English: ''The Golden Age'') also uses nonlinear concepts. The revolutionary Russian filmmakers [[Sergei Eisenstein]], [[Vsevolod Pudovkin]], and [[Alexander Dovzhenko]] also experimented with the possibilities of nonlinearity. Eisenstein's ''[[Strike (film)|Strike]]'' (1925) and Dovzhenko's ''[[Earth (1930 film)|Earth]]'' (1930) hint at a nonlinear experience. English director [[Humphrey Jennings]] used a nonlinear approach in his [[World War II]] documentary ''[[Listen to Britain]]'' (1942).
 +===Post-war===
 +[[Jean-Luc Godard|Jean-Luc Godard's]] work since 1959 was also important in the evolution of nonlinear film. Godard famously stated, "I agree that a film should have a beginning, a middle and an end but not necessarily in that order". Godard's ''[[Week End (1967 film)|Week End]]'' (French: ''Le weekend'') (1968), as well as [[Andy Warhol|Andy Warhol's]] ''[[Chelsea Girls]]'' (1966), defy linear structure in exchange for a chronology of events that is seemingly random. [[Alain Resnais]] experimented with narrative and time in his films ''[[Hiroshima Mon Amour]]'' (1959), ''[[Last Year at Marienbad]]'' (1961), and ''[[Muriel (film)|Muriel]]'' (1963). [[Federico Fellini]] defined his own nonlinear cinema with the films ''[[La strada (film)|La strada]]'' (1954), ''[[La dolce vita (1960 film)|La dolce vita]]'' (1960), ''[[8½]]'' (1963), ''[[Satyricon (film)|Satyricon]]'' (1969), and ''[[Roma (1972 film)|Roma]]'' (1972). [[Nicolas Roeg|Nicolas Roeg's]] films, including ''[[Performance (film)|Performance]]'' (1968), ''[[Walkabout (film)|Walkabout]]'' (1971), ''[[Don't Look Now]]'' (1973), ''[[The Man Who Fell to Earth (film)|The Man Who Fell to Earth]]'' (1976), and ''[[Bad Timing]]'' (1980) are characterized by a nonlinear approach. Other experimental nonlinear filmmakers include [[Michelangelo Antonioni]], [[Peter Greenaway]], [[Chris Marker]], [[Agnès Varda]], and [[Raúl Ruiz]].
-In [[video games]], nonlinears refers to a game that has more than one possible plotline and ending, leaving the gamer to take the path that most suits their style of play. This increases replay value, as players must often beat the game several times to get the whole story. ''[[Fallout (video game)|Fallout]]'' could be cited as an example, as there are multiple paths you can take since the beginning of the game.+In the United States, [[Robert Altman]] carried the nonlinear motif in his films, including ''[[McCabe & Mrs. Miller]]'' (1971), ''[[Nashville (film)|Nashville]]'' (1975), ''[[The Player]]'' (1992), ''[[Short Cuts]]'' (1993), and ''[[Gosford Park]]'' (2001). [[Woody Allen]] embraced the experimental nature of nonlinear narrative in ''[[Annie Hall]]'' (1977), ''[[Interiors]]'' (1978), and ''[[Stardust Memories]]'' (1980).
-==References==+===1990s and 2000s===
-*Maso, Carole. (1993). ''Ava: a novel''. (Fiction). Normal, IL : Dalkey Archive Press. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/26763542&referer=brief_results ISBN: 1564780295 : 9781564780294]+In the 1990s, [[Quentin Tarantino]] influenced a tremendous growth in nonlinear films with ''[[Pulp Fiction (film)|Pulp Fiction]]'' (1994). Other important nonlinear films include [[Atom Egoyan|Atom Egoyan's]] ''[[Exotica (film)|Exotica]]'' (1994), [[Terrence Malick|Terrence Malick's]] ''[[The Thin Red Line (1998 film)|The Thin Red Line]]'' (1998), [[Paul Thomas Anderson|Paul Thomas Anderson's]] ''[[Magnolia (film)|Magnolia]]'' (1999), and Karen and [[Jill Sprecher|Jill Sprecher's]] ''[[Thirteen Conversations About One Thing]]'' (2001). [[David Lynch]] experimented with nonlinear narrative and [[surrealism]] in ''[[Lost Highway]]'' (1997), ''[[Mulholland Drive (film)|Mulholland Dr.]]'' (2001), and ''[[Inland Empire (film)|Inland Empire]]'' (2006).
 + 
 +Into the 2000s, some filmmakers have returned to the use of nonlinear narrative repeatedly. [[Steven Soderbergh]] in ''[[Schizopolis]]'' (1996), ''[[Out of Sight]]'' (1998), ''[[The Limey]]'' (1999), ''[[Full Frontal (film)|Full Frontal]]'' (2002), ''[[Solaris (2002 film)|Solaris]]'' (2002), and ''[[Che (film)|Che]]'' (2008). [[Christopher Nolan]] in ''[[Following (film)|Following]]'' (1998), ''[[Memento (film)|Memento]]'' (2001), and ''[[The Prestige (film)|The Prestige]]'' (2006). ''Memento'', with its fragmentation and [[reverse chronology]], has been described as characteristic of moving towards [[postmodernism]] in contemporary cinema. [[Richard Linklater]] used nonlinear narrative in ''[[Slacker (film)|Slacker]]'' (1991), ''[[Waking Life]]'' (2001), and ''[[A Scanner Darkly (film)|A Scanner Darkly]]'' (2006); [[Gus Van Sant]] in ''[[Elephant (film)|Elephant]]'' (2003), ''[[Last Days (film)|Last Days]]'' (2005), and ''[[Paranoid Park (film)|Paranoid Park]]'' (2007). Hong Kong auteur [[Wong Kar-wai]] explored nonlinear storylines in the films ''[[Days of Being Wild]]'' (1991), ''[[Ashes of Time]]'' (1994), ''[[Chungking Express]]'' (1994), ''[[In the Mood for Love]]'' (2000), and ''[[2046 (film)|2046]]'' (2004). [[Fernando Meirelles]] in ''[[City of God (film)|City of God]]'' and ''[[The Constant Gardener (film)|The Constant Gardener]]''. All of [[Alejandro González Iñárritu]]'s films to date feature nonlinear narratives. [[Takashi Shimizu|Takashi Shimizu's]] Japanese horror series, ''[[Ju-on]]'', brought to America as ''[[The Grudge]]'', is also nonlinear in its storytelling.
 + 
 +==Timeline of nonlinear films==
 +===1910s–1980s===
 +*''[[Intolerance (film)|Intolerance]]'' (1916)
 +*''[[Häxan]] (1922)
 +*''[[Sherlock, Jr.]]'' (1924)
 +*''[[A Page of Madness]]'' (1926)
 +*''[[Napoléon (1927 film)|Napoléon]]'' (1927)
 +*''[[Un Chien Andalou]]'' (1929)
 +*''[[L'Âge d'or]]'' (1930)
 +*''[[Show Boat (1936 film)|Show Boat]]'' (1936)
 +*''[[Listen to Britain]]'' (1942)
 +*''[[Rashomon (film)|Rashomon]]'' (1950)
 +*''[[Duck Amuck]]'' (1951)
 +*''[[La strada (film)|La strada]]'' (1954)
 +*''[[The Killing]]'' (1956)<ref>Falsetto, Mario (2001). ''Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative and Stylistic Analysis''. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 2. ISBN 0275969746</ref>
 +*''[[A Movie]]'' (1958)
 +*''[[Hiroshima Mon Amour]]'' (1959)
 +*''[[Breathless (1960 film)|Breathless]]'' (1960)
 +*''[[La dolce vita (1960 film)|La dolce vita]]'' (1960)<ref>Palladino, D. J. ([[August 23]], [[2007]]). "[http://www.independent.com/news/2007/aug/23/emla-dolce-vitaem-not-timid/ La Dolce Vita Is Not for the Timid]".''[[Santa Barbara Independent]]''. Retrieved on [[February 4]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Last Year at Marienbad]]'' (1961)<ref name="Dancyger"/>
 +*''[[La commare secca]]'' (1962)
 +*''[[La Jetée]]'' (1962)<ref name="Marsha" />
 +*''[[Muriel (film)|Muriel]]'' (1963) (French: ''Muriel ou le temps d'un retour'')<ref>Erickson, Hal. "[http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:33864 Muriel ou le Temps d'un Retour]". [[Allmovie]]. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[This Sporting Life]]'' (1963)
 +*''[[8½]]'' (1963)
 +*''[[Diamonds of the Night]]'' (1963)<ref>Kremer, S. Lillian [ed.] (2003). ''Holocaust Literature''. "Arnost Lustig (1926-)". [[Routledge]].</ref>
 +*''[[Scorpio Rising (film)| Scorpio Rising]]'' (1964)
 +*''[[Chelsea Girls]]'' (1966)<ref name="Dethridge"/>
 +*''[[Blowup]]'' (1966)
 +*''[[Trans-Europ-Express (film)|Trans-Europ-Express]]'' (1966)
 +*''[[Persona (film)|Persona]]'' (1966)
 +*''[[Belle de jour]]'' (1967)<ref name="Dancyger"/>
 +*''[[Point Blank (film)|Point Blank]]'' (1967)<ref>Schager, Nick (2003). "[http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/film_review.asp?ID=741 Film Review: Point Blank]". [[Slant Magazine]]. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Two for the Road (1967 film)|Two for the Road]]'' (1967)
 +*''[[The Trip (film)|The Trip]]'' (1967)
 +*''[[Magical Mystery Tour (film)|Magical Mystery Tour]]'' (1967)
 +*''[[Week End (1967 film)|Week End]]'' (1968)<ref name="Dethridge"/>
 +*''[[Head (film)|Head]]'' (1968)
 +*''[[Petulia]]'' (1968)
 +*''[[The Color of Pomegranates]]'' (1968)
 +*''[[The Milky Way (1969 film)|The Milky Way]]'' (1969)
 +*''[[Catch-22 (film)|Catch-22]]'' (1970)
 +*''[[The Conformist (film)|The Conformist]]'' (1970)
 +*''[[Zabriskie Point (film)|Zabriskie Point]]'' (1970)
 +*''[[200 Motels]]'' (1971)
 +*''[[The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie]]'' (1972)<ref name="Dancyger"/>
 +*''[[Solaris (1972 film)|Solaris]]'' (1972)<ref name="Arnold">Arnold, William ([[November 27]], [[2002]]). [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/97373_solaris27q.shtml 'Solaris' nearly gets lost in space, but Clooney shines]. ''[[Seattle Post-Intelligencer]]''. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Slaughterhouse-Five (film)|Slaughterhouse-Five]]'' (1972)
 +*''[[O Lucky Man!]]'' (1973)<ref name="Dancyger"/>
 +*''[[Lisa and the Devil]]'' (1973)
 +*''[[F for Fake]]'' (1974)<ref>Kirschling, Gregory (2005). "[http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1052640,00.html F For Fake]". ''[[Entertainment Weekly]]''. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[The Phantom of Liberty (film)|The Phantom of Liberty]]'' (1974)
 +*''[[Celine and Julie Go Boating]]'' (1974)
 +*''[[The Mirror (1975 film)|The Mirror]]'' (1975)
 +*''[[Annie Hall]]'' (1977)
 +*''[[Interiors]]'' (1978)
 +*''[[More American Graffiti]]'' (1979)
 +*''[[Stardust Memories]]'' (1980)
 +*''[[In the Shadow of the Sun]]'' (1980)
 +*''[[Bad Timing]]'' (1980)
 +*''[[The Beyond (film)|The Beyond]]'' (1981)
 +*''[[Possession (1981 film)|Possession]]'' (1981)
 +*''[[The Night of the Shooting Stars]]'' (1982)
 +*''[[Sans soleil]]'' (1982)<ref name="Marsha" />
 +*''[[Once Upon a Time in America]]'' (1984)
 +*''[[Broadway Danny Rose]]'' (1984)
 +*''[[Return to Waterloo]]'' (1985)
 +*''[[Street of Crocodiles (film)|Street of Crocodiles]]'' (1986)
 +*''[[Siesta (film)|Siesta]]'' (1987)<ref name="Blum">Blum, Richard A. (2001). ''Television and Screen Writing: From Concept to Contract''. [[Focal Press]]. p.125. ISBN 0240803841</ref>
 + 
 +===1990s===
 +*''[[Jacob's Ladder (film)|Jacob's Ladder]]'' (1990)<ref name="Dethridge"/>
 +*''[[Daughters of the Dust]]'' (1991)<ref name="Dancyger"/>
 +*''[[Fried Green Tomatoes (film)|Fried Green Tomatoes]]'' (1991)
 +*''[[Reservoir Dogs]]'' (1992)<ref name="Cowgill">Cowgill, Linda J. (1999) ''Secrets of Screenplay Structure''. Lone Eagle. pp. 148-170. ISBN 158065004X</ref>
 +*''[[Short Cuts]]'' (1993)<ref name="Dethridge"/>
 +*''[[Calendar (film)|Calendar]]'' (1993)
 +*''[[Smoking/No Smoking]]'' (1993)
 +*''[[Before the Rain (film)|Before the Rain]]'' (1994)<ref name="Dancyger"/>
 +*''[[Exotica (film)|Exotica]]'' (1994)<ref name="DancygerRush"/>
 +*''[[Natural Born Killers]]'' (1994)<ref name="Dancyger"/>
 +*''[[Three Colours: Red]]'' (1994)<ref>Kakutani, Michiko (September 12, 2000). "[http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D05E5D61F39F931A2575AC0A9669C8B63 BOOKS OF THE TIMES; When Lives, and Worlds, Converge]". ''[[The New York Times]]''. Retrieved on September 21, 2008.</ref>
 +*''[[Pulp Fiction (film)|Pulp Fiction]]'' (1994)<ref name="Garfinkel">Garfinkel, Asher (2007). ''Screenplay Story Analysis: The Art and Business''. Allworth Communications, Inc. p. 20. ISBN 158115478X</ref>
 +*''[[The Usual Suspects]]'' (1995)<ref name="Cowgill"/>
 +*''[[Nixon (film)|Nixon]]'' (1995)
 +*''[[Love Letter (1995 film)|Love Letter]]'' (1995)
 +*''[[L'Appartement]]'' (1996)<ref name="Arnold2004">Arnold, William ([[September 3]], [[2004]]). "[http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/189136_wicker03q.html Romantic thriller 'Wicker Park' is refreshingly true to its French connection]". ''[[Seattle Post-Intelligencer]]''. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]]</ref>
 +*''[[Schizopolis]]'' (1996)
 +*''[[Lone Star (1996 film)|Lone Star]]'' (1996)<ref>[http://media.www.iowastatedaily.com/media/storage/paper818/news/1996/10/18/UndefinedSection/Truth.Prevails.In.lone.Star-1066628.shtml Truth prevails in 'Lone Star']. ''[[Iowa State Daily]]''. [[October 18]], [[1996]]. Retrieved on [[February 5]], [[2008]]</ref>
 +*''[[Three Lives and Only One Death]]'' (1996)
 +*''[[The Rich Man's Wife]]'' (1996)
 +*''[[Lost Highway]]'' (1997)<ref>Johnson, Jeff (2004). ''Pervert in the Pulpit: Morality in the Works of David Lynch''. McFarland. p. 131. ISBN 0786417536</ref>
 +*''[[Gummo]]'' (1997)<ref>Levy, Emanuel ([[September 14]], [[1997]]). "[http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117329547.html?categoryid=31&cs=1&p=0 Gummo Review]". ''[[Variety (magazine)|Variety]]''. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]]</ref>
 +*''[[The Ice Storm (film)|The Ice Storm]]'' (1997)<ref name="Global"/>
 +*''[[The Sweet Hereafter (film)|The Sweet Hereafter]]'' (1997)
 +*''[[The Hanging Garden]]'' (1997)<ref>Garcia, Maria (2007). "[http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/reviews/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000698277 Hanging Garden, The]". ''[[Film Journal International]]''. Retrieved on [[February 4]], [[2008]]</ref>
 +*''[[Cremaster 5]]'' (1997)
 +*''[[Genealogies of a Crime]]'' (1997)
 +*''[[Swept from the Sea]]'' (1997)
 +*''[[Sliding Doors]]'' (1998)<ref name="Dethridge"/>
 +*''[[Run Lola Run]]'' (1998)<ref name="Garfinkel"/>
 +*''[[Out of Sight]]'' (1998)<ref>King, Geoff (2005). ''American Independent Cinema''. I.B.Tauris. p. 262. ISBN 1850439370</ref>
 +*''[[The Thin Red Line (1998 film)|The Thin Red Line]]'' (1998)<ref name="DancygerRush"/>
 +*''[[Firestorm (film)|Firestorm]]'' (1998)<ref name="TLA"/>
 +*''[[Following (film)|Following]]'' (1998)<ref name="Nelmes"/>
 +*''[[Happiness (1998 film)|Happiness]]'' (1998)<ref name="Global">Dancyger, Ken (2001) ''Global Scriptwriting''. [[Focal Press]]. pp. ISBN 0240803698</ref>
 +*''[[New Rose Hotel (film)|New Rose Hotel]]'' (1998)
 +*''[[Boondock Saints]]'' (1999)
 +*''[[Go (1999 film)|Go]] (1999)<ref name="TLA"/>
 +*''[[The Limey]]'' (1999)<ref name="Garfinkel"/>
 +*''[[Magnolia (film)|Magnolia]]'' (1999)<ref name="DancygerRush">Dancyger, Ken; & Rush, Jeff (2006). ''Alternative Scriptwriting: Successfully Breaking the Rules''. [[Focal Press]]. pp 154-163 ISBN 0240808495</ref>
 +*''[[Jesus' Son]]'' (1999)<ref name="TLA"/>
 +*''[[The Loss of Sexual Innocence]]'' (1999)<ref name="TLA"/>
 +*''[[EXistenZ|eXistenZ]]'' (1999)
 +*''[[Time Regained (film)|Time Regained]]'' (1999)
 +*''[[Cremaster 2]]'' (1999)
 +*''[[Snow Falling on Cedars (film)|Snow Falling on Cedars]]'' (1999)<ref>Arnold, William ([[January 7]], [[2000]]). [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/snowq.shtml 'Snow Falling on Cedars': Sumptuous film lacks book's depth]. ''[[Seattle Post-Intelligencer]]''. Retrieved on [[February 4]], [[2008]]</ref>
 + 
 +===2000s===
 +*''[[Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors]]'' (2000)
 +*''[[Amores perros]]'' (2000) (English: ''Love's a Bitch'')<ref name="TLA">Bleiler, David (2004).''TLA Video & DVD Guide: The Discerning Film Lover's Guide''. [[Macmillan Publishers|Macmillan]]. ISBN 0312316909</ref>
 +*''[[Happenstance (film)|Happenstance]]'' (2000)
 +*''[[In the Mood for Love]]'' (2000)
 +*''[[Chaos (2000 film)|Chaos]]'' (2000)
 +*''[[Ju-on 1|Ju-on]]'' (2000)
 +*''[[Ju-on 2|Ju-on 2]]'' (2000)
 +*''[[Urbania (film)|Urbania]]'' (2000)
 +*''[[The Weight of Water (film)|The Weight of Water]]'' (2000)
 +*''[[Vanilla Sky]]'' (2001), based on ''[[Abre los ojos]]'' (1997) (English: ''Open your Eyes'')<ref name="Dundjerovic"/>
 +*''[[Memento (film)|Memento]]'' (2001), written in [[reverse chronology]]<ref name="Garfinkel"/>
 +*''[[Thirteen Conversations About One Thing]]'' (2001)<ref name="DancygerRush"/>
 +*''[[Mulholland Drive (film)|Mulholland Dr.]]'' (2001)<ref name="Dundjerovic">Dundjerovic, Aleksandar (2003). ''The Cinema of Robert Lepage: The Poetics of Memory''. Wallflower Press. p. 160 ISBN 1903364337</ref>
 +*''[[Sex and Lucia]]'' (2001)
 +*''[[In Praise of Love]]'' (2001)
 +*''[[Ghosts of Mars]]'' (2001)
 +*''[[Irréversible]]'' (2002)<ref>Brottman, Mikita; & Sterritt, David. "[http://www.filmquarterly.org/issue_5702_right.html Review: Irréversible]". ''[[Film Quarterly]]''. Vol. 57 No. 2. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[American Gun (2002 film)|American Gun]]'' (2002)<ref>Hunter, David ([[June 20]], [[2002]]). "American Gun". ''[[The Hollywood Reporter]]''.</ref>
 +*''[[Adaptation.|Adaptation.]]'' (2002)<ref name="TLA"/>
 +*''[[Abandon (film)|Abandon]]'' (2002)<ref>Hastings, Michael. "[http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:265931~T1 Abandon]". [[Allmovie]]. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Solaris (2002 film)|Solaris]] (2002)<ref name="Arnold"/>
 +*''[[Confessions of a Dangerous Mind]]'' (2002)<ref>Koplinski, Chuck ([[January 30]], [[2003]]). "[http://www.illinoistimes.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A2235 Movie Reviews]". ''[[Illinois Times]]''. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[The Hours (film)|The Hours]]'' (2002)<ref>Arnold, William ([[January 10]], [[2003]]). "[http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/103490_hours10q.shtml 3 lives connect like clockwork in 'The Hours']". ''[[Seattle Post-Intelligencer]]''. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]]</ref>
 +*''[[The Rules of Attraction (film)|The Rules of Attraction]]'' (2002)
 +*''[[City of God (film)|City of God]]'' (2002)
 +*''[[Ararat (film)|Ararat]]'' (2002)
 +*''[[Cremaster 3]]'' (2002)
 +*''[[He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not (film)|He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not]]'' (2002)<ref>Puig, Claudia ([[February 13]], [[2003]]). "[http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2003-02-13-real-girls_x.htm Also opening]". ''[[USA Today]]''. Retrieved on [[February 7]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Identity (film)|Identity]]'' (2003)
 +*''[[21 Grams]]'' (2003)<ref>Oakes, Keily ([[10 March]], [[2004]]). "[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/3516653.stm Review: 21 Grams]". [[BBC News]]. Retrieved on [[February 2]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Elephant (film)|Elephant]]'' (2003)
 +*''[[Oldboy]]'' (2003)
 +*''[[Wonderland (2003 film)|Wonderland]]'' (2003)
 +*''[[Ju-on: The Grudge]]'' (2003), remade in the U.S. as ''[[The Grudge]]'' (2004)
 +*''[[Ju-on: The Grudge 2]]'' (2003)
 +*''[[Kill Bill]]'' (2003, 2004)<ref name="Garfinkel"/>
 +*''[[Alexander (film)|Alexander]]'' (2004)
 +*''[[Closer (film)|Closer]]'' (2004)
 +*''[[Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind]]'' (2004)<ref name="Garfinkel"/>
 +*''[[Haven (film)|Haven]]'' (2004)<ref>Ordoña, Michael ([[September 15]], [[2006]]). [http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/reviews/cl-et-haven15sep15,0,6952630.story 'Haven']. ''[[Los Angeles Times]]''. Retrieved on [[February 3]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Wicker Park (film)|Wicker Park]]'' (2004), a remake of ''L'Appartement''<ref name="Arnold2004"/>
 +*''[[November (film)|November]]'' (2004)
 +*''[[Sin City (film)|Sin City]]'' (2005)
 +*''[[Last Days (film)|Last Days]]'' (2005)
 +*''[[Where the Truth Lies]]'' (2005)<ref>Digiovanna, James ([[November 17]], [[2005]]). "[http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Cinema/Content?oid=75558 Threesome Gone Bad]". ''[[Tucson Weekly]]''. Retrieved on [[February 3]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[I Love Your Work]]'' (2005)<ref>Crust, Kevin ([[November 4]], [[2005]]). [http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/reviews/cl-et-work4nov04,0,4527791.story 'I Love Your Work']. ''[[Los Angeles Times]]''. Retrieved on [[February 4]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[The Call of Cthulhu (film)|The Call of Cthulhu]]'' (2005)
 +*''[[Doom (film)|Doom]]'' (2005)<ref>Sperling, Nicole (October 21, 2005). "Boys, prepare to meet thy 'Doom'". ''[[The Hollywood Reporter]]''.</ref>
 +*''[[The Jacket]]'' (2005)
 +*''[[Breakfast on Pluto (film)|Breakfast on Pluto]]'' (2005)
 +*''[[The Constant Gardener (film)|The Constant Gardener]]'' (2005)
 +*''[[Snuff-Movie (film)| Snuff-Movie]]'' (2005)
 +*''[[Inland Empire (film)|Inland Empire]]'' (2006)
 +*''[[The Prestige (film)|The Prestige]]'' (2006)<ref name="Nelmes"/>
 +*''[[The Good Shepherd (film)|The Good Shepherd]]'' (2006)
 +*''[[The Fountain]]'' (2006)
 +*''[[Away From Her]]'' (2006)
 +*''[[Flags of Our Fathers (film)|Flags of Our Fathers]]'' (2006)<ref>Mantz, Scott ([[December 21]], [[2006]]). [http://www.accesshollywood.com/article/3218/MovieMantz-Reviews:-and MovieMantz Reviews: ‘Letters From Iwo Jima’]. ''[[Access Hollywood]]''. Retrieved on [[February 5]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Glastonbury (film)|Glastonbury]]'' (2006)<ref>[[Joel Selvin|Selvin, Joel]] ([[March 2]], [[2007]]). "[http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/02/DDGOAOD26E1.DTL Film Clips]". ''[[San Francisco Chronicle]]''. Retrieved on [[February 7]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Unknown (film)|Unknown]]'' (2006)
 +*''[[Pan's Labyrinth]]'' (2006)<ref>Tarradell, Mario ([[January 28]], [[2007]]). "[http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07028/756831-254.stm Q&A with Guillermo Navarro]". ''[[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]]''. Retrieved on [[April 7]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Reprise (film)|Reprise]]'' (2006)<ref>Paurich, Milan ([[July 16]], [[2008]]). "[http://www.freetimes.com/stories/15/63/a-novel-approach A Novel Approach]". ''[[Cleveland Scene]]''. Retrieved on [[July 22]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Into the Wild (film)|Into the Wild]]'' (2007)<ref>Stuart, Jan ([[September 21]], [[2007]]). [http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/movies/ny-etwild5382376sep21,0,5589187.story 'Into the Wild']. ''[[Newsday]]''. Retrieved on [[February 4]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Paranoid Park (film)|Paranoid Park]]'' (2007)
 +*''[[La Vie En Rose (film)|La Vie en rose]]'' (2007)
 +*''[[Rendition (film)|Rendition]]'' (2007)
 +*''[[Atonement (film)|Atonement]]'' (2007)<ref>Arnold, William ([[December 6]], [[2007]]). "[http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/342550_atonement07q.html 'Atonement' packs a powerful punch, if you can wait for it]. ''[[Seattle Post-Intelligencer]]''. Retrieved on [[February 3]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Before the Devil Knows You're Dead]]'' (2007)
 +*''[[Michael Clayton (film)|Michael Clayton]]'' (2007)
 +*''[[I'm Not There]]'' (2007)
 +*''[[Premonition (2007 film)|Premonition]]'' (2007)
 +*''[[The Tracey Fragments (film)|The Tracey Fragments]]'' (2007)<ref>Goldstein, Gregg ([[February 19]], [[2008]]). '[http://www.reuters.com/article/filmNews/idUSN1930794020080220 Ellen Page turns up in "Tracey Fragments"]'. [[Reuters]]. Retrieved on [[February 22]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Youth Without Youth (film)|Youth Without Youth]]'' (2007)<ref>Sorenson, Saundra ([[February 5]], [[2008]]). "[http://wweek.com/editorial/3409/10227/ Youth Without Youth]". ''[[Willamette Week]]''. Retrieved on [[February 4]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Things We Lost in the Fire (film)|Things We Lost in the Fire]]'' (2007)<ref>Torrance, Kelly Jane ([[October 19]], [[2007]]). [http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20071019/ENTERTAINMENT/110190026/1007/entertainment 'Things' that move people]. ''[[The Washington Times]]''. Retrieved on [[March 9]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Patti Smith: Dream of Life]]'' (2008)<ref>Rainer, Peter ([[January 25]], [[2008]]). "[http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0125/p12s01-almo.html At Sundance, the big draws are Patti Smith, U2, Roman Polanski, Osama bin Laden]". ''[[The Christian Science Monitor]]''. Retrieved on [[February 7]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[The Air I Breathe]]'' (2008)<ref>Outhier, Craig ([[January 24]], [[2008]]). [http://www.ocregister.com/entertainment/lee-garcia-gellar-1966412-whitaker-writer 'The Air I Breathe' is pungent with pretentiousness]. ''[[The Orange County Register]]''. Retrieved on [[February 4]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Speed Racer (film)|Speed Racer]]'' (2008)<ref>Hoberman, J. ([[May 6]], [[2008]]). "[http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0819,speed-racer-on-a-fast-track-to-nowhere,433809,20.html Speed Racer on a Fast Track to Nowhere]". ''[[The Village Voice]]''. Retrieved on [[May 11]], [[2008]].</ref>
 +*''[[Hell Ride]]'' (2008)<ref>"[http://www.freetimes.com/stories/15/67/film-capsules Film :: Film Capsules]". August 15, 2008. ''[[Cleveland Free Times]]''. Volume 15, Issue 67. Retrieved on October 1, 2008.</ref>
 +*''[[Brideshead Revisited (film)|Brideshead Revisited]]'' (2008) <ref>Rawson-Jones, Ben (September 29, 2008). "[http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/a131412/brideshead-revisited.html At the Movies - Brideshead Revisited]". [[Digital Spy]]. Retrieved on October 1, 2008.</ref>
 +*''[[Che (film)|Che]]'' (2008)
 +*''[[JCVD]]'' (2008)<ref>Johnson, Brian D. (November 6, 2008). "[http://blog.macleans.ca/2008/11/06/hot-damn-van-damme-can-act/ Hot damn, Van Damme can act!]". ''[[Maclean's]]''. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.</ref>
 +*''[[Lust For Vengeance]]'' (2008)<ref>Dennis Schwartz review of the movie [http://www.sover.net/~ozus/lustforvengeance.htm]</ref>
 +*''[[The Burning Plain]]'' (2009)<ref>Gargano, Jason (September 10, 2008). "[http://citybeat.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A146055 Family Values: Toronto Film Festival has big names and unusual family stories]". ''[[Cincinnati CityBeat]]''. Retrieved on September 11, 2008.</ref>
 +*''[[Downloading Nancy]]'' (2009)<ref>"[http://www.laweekly.com/2009-06-04/film-tv/movie-reviews-land-of-the-lost-my-life-in-ruins-pressure-cooker/ Movie Reviews: Land of the Lost, My Life in Ruins, Pressure Cooker]". June 3, 2009. ''[[LA Weekly]]''. Retrieved on June 8, 2009.</ref>
 +*''[[(500) Days of Summer]]'' (2009)<ref>"[http://www.examiner.com/x-4121-Pop-Culture-News-Examiner~y2009m8d3-500-Days-of-Summer--review]". August 3, 2009. ''[[Examiner]]''. Retrieve on August 4, 2009.</ref>
 +*''[[Watchmen (film)]]'' (2009)
 + 
 +==Television==
 +Japanese [[anime]] series sometimes present their plot in nonlinear order, for example, ''[[The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (anime)|The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya]]'', ''[[Yami to Bōshi to Hon no Tabibito]]'', ''[[Touka Gettan]]'', and (partly) ''[[Boogiepop Phantom]]'', ''[[Ergo Proxy]]'' and ''[[Fullmetal Alchemist]]''.
 + 
 +The [[American Broadcasting Company|ABC]] television series ''[[Lost (TV series)|Lost]]'' makes extensive use of nonlinear story telling, with each episode typically featuring a primary storyline on the island as well as a secondary storyline from another point in a character's life, either past or future.
 + 
 +[[FX (TV channel)|FX]]'s [[Emmy Award]] winning legal drama [[Damages]] starring [[Glenn Close]], begins each season with an intensely melodramatic event taking place and then traveling back six months earlier. Throughout the season, each episode shows events both in the past, present, and future that lead up to and follow said event.
 + 
 + 
 +The English sitcom [[Coupling]] would often utilize non-linear narratives in which groups of men and women would independently discuss an event, after which (or during) the event would be portrayed.
 + 
 +==Video games==
 +In [[video games]], the term nonlinear refers to a game that has more than one possible story line and/or ending. This allows the audience to choose from multiple different paths, that may be compatible with their style of play. This increases replay value, as players must often beat the game several times to get the entire story. [[Computer role-playing game]]s, e.g. ''[[Fallout (video game)|Fallout]]'', often contain multiple paths which the player may choose from the beginning of the game. An example of this is Sega's spin-off game, "Shadow the Hedgehog".
 + 
 +Some video games mimic film non-linearity by presenting a single plot in chronologically distorted way instead of letting the player determine the story flow themselves. The [[first-person shooter]] ''[[Tribes: Vengeance]]'' is an example of this; another is Sega's "Sonic Adventure".
 + 
 +Often times game developers use the idea of character amnesia in games. Character amnesia helps give a game a beginning because the audience only has the understanding that there is a preceding history before the events of the game take place. The characters amnesia allows the developers more leniency with what possibilities or paths the audience can potentially take. This option of choosing paths ultimately results in the development of a non-linear story. Furthermore by creating a nonlinear story line the complexity of game play is greatly expanded. As stated earlier, non-linear game play allows for greater replay value which grants the player to put together the different pieces of a potentially puzzling storyline. This idea of having a complex and deep storyline while the user has little or no prior knowledge of past events is clearly evident in games like Facade. In Facade the player is put into a situation that lasts approximately 10 to 15 minutes in real time yet the events recalled seem to have a basis in years of dramatic history. <ref>Chen, Sherol. "Nonlinear Storytelling in Games: Deconstructing the Varieties of Nonlinear Experiences." Expressive Intelligence Studio Blog | EIS at UC Santa Cruz. Web. 17 Nov. 2009. <http://eis-blog.ucsc.edu/2009/08/nonlinear-storytelling-in-games-deconstructing-the-varieties-of-nonlinear-experiences/>.</ref>
 + 
 +==HTML Narratives==
 + 
 +In contemporary society webpages or to be more correct, hypertexts, have become affluent forms of narratives. Hypertexts have great potential to create non-linear forms of narratives. They allow for individuals to actually interact with the story through links, images, audio and video. An established hypertext narrative is Public Secret.<ref>Daniel, Sharon. "Public Secrets." Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. <http://vectors.usc.edu/issues/4/publicsecrets/>.</ref> Public Secret illustrates the reality of being incarcerated in California's Criminal Justice System. It brings to light the way inmates are treated. This functions as a non-linear narrative because it allows for its audience to witness through text and audio the reality of being a female inmate. However, there is no exact beginning or end as there are in comic books or video games. This website consists of multiple subtopics that do not force the audience to make their next selection based on what their previous experiences.
==See also== ==See also==
-* [[Stream of consciousness]]+* [[Stream of consciousness writing|Stream of consciousness]]
* [[Metafiction]] * [[Metafiction]]
* [[Experimental fiction]] * [[Experimental fiction]]
Line 29: Line 265:
* [[Chronology]] * [[Chronology]]
* [[Wheel of time]] * [[Wheel of time]]
 +* [[Time in physics]]
* [[Anachronistic]] * [[Anachronistic]]
* [[Change]] * [[Change]]
Line 37: Line 274:
* [[Sense of time]] * [[Sense of time]]
* [[Spacetime]] * [[Spacetime]]
 +* [[Hyperlink cinema]]
 +* [[Hypertext fiction]]
 +
 +
 +
{{GFDL}} {{GFDL}}

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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nonlinearity

Nonlinear narrative or disrupted narrative is a narrative technique, sometimes used in literature, film, hypertext websites and other narratives, wherein events are portrayed out of chronological order and are usually dictated by user choices and set parameters within the media. It is often used to mimic the structure and recall of human memory but has been applied for other reasons as well. The term has a slightly different meaning in the context of video games, where it refers to the possibility of narrating different stories depending on the player's actions in the game.

Contents

Literature

Beginning a narrative in medias res (Latin: "into the middle of things") began in ancient times as an oral tradition and was established as a convention of epic poetry with Homer's Iliad in the 8th century BC. The technique of narrating most of the story in flashback also dates back to the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, around the 5th century BC. Several medieval Arabian Nights tales such as "Sinbad the Sailor", "The City of Brass" and "The Three Apples" also had nonlinear narratives employing the in medias res and flashback techniques.

From the late 1800s and early 1900s, modernist novelists Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Ford Madox Ford, Marcel Proust, and William Faulkner experimented with narrative chronology and abandoning linear order.

Examples of nonlinear novels are: Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759-67), Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus (ca. 1833), Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (1847), James Joyce's Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939), William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch (1959), Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (1961), Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Milorad Pavić's Dictionary of the Khazars (1988), Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting (1993) and Carole Maso's Ava: a novel (1993).

Scott McCloud argues in Understanding Comics that the narration of comics is nonlinear because it relies on the reader's choices and interactions.

All of Chuck Palahniuk's work feature nonlinear narratives.

Film

Defining nonlinear structure in film is, at times, difficult. Films may use extensive flashbacks or flashforwards within a linear storyline, while nonlinear films often contain linear sequences. Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941), influenced structurally by The Power and the Glory (1933), and Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950) use a non-chronological flashback narrative that is often labeled nonlinear.

Silent and early era

Experimentation with nonlinear structure in film dates back to the silent film era, including D.W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916) and Abel Gance's Napoléon (1927). Nonlinear film emerged from the French avant-garde in 1929 with Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali's Un Chien Andalou (English: An Andalusian Dog). The surrealist film jumps into fantasy and juxtaposes images, granting the filmmakers an ability to create statements about the Church, art, and society that are left open to interpretation Buñuel and Dali's L'Âge d'or (1930) (English: The Golden Age) also uses nonlinear concepts. The revolutionary Russian filmmakers Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and Alexander Dovzhenko also experimented with the possibilities of nonlinearity. Eisenstein's Strike (1925) and Dovzhenko's Earth (1930) hint at a nonlinear experience. English director Humphrey Jennings used a nonlinear approach in his World War II documentary Listen to Britain (1942).

Post-war

Jean-Luc Godard's work since 1959 was also important in the evolution of nonlinear film. Godard famously stated, "I agree that a film should have a beginning, a middle and an end but not necessarily in that order". Godard's Week End (French: Le weekend) (1968), as well as Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls (1966), defy linear structure in exchange for a chronology of events that is seemingly random. Alain Resnais experimented with narrative and time in his films Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Last Year at Marienbad (1961), and Muriel (1963). Federico Fellini defined his own nonlinear cinema with the films La strada (1954), La dolce vita (1960), (1963), Satyricon (1969), and Roma (1972). Nicolas Roeg's films, including Performance (1968), Walkabout (1971), Don't Look Now (1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), and Bad Timing (1980) are characterized by a nonlinear approach. Other experimental nonlinear filmmakers include Michelangelo Antonioni, Peter Greenaway, Chris Marker, Agnès Varda, and Raúl Ruiz.

In the United States, Robert Altman carried the nonlinear motif in his films, including McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Nashville (1975), The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), and Gosford Park (2001). Woody Allen embraced the experimental nature of nonlinear narrative in Annie Hall (1977), Interiors (1978), and Stardust Memories (1980).

1990s and 2000s

In the 1990s, Quentin Tarantino influenced a tremendous growth in nonlinear films with Pulp Fiction (1994). Other important nonlinear films include Atom Egoyan's Exotica (1994), Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (1998), Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999), and Karen and Jill Sprecher's Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001). David Lynch experimented with nonlinear narrative and surrealism in Lost Highway (1997), Mulholland Dr. (2001), and Inland Empire (2006).

Into the 2000s, some filmmakers have returned to the use of nonlinear narrative repeatedly. Steven Soderbergh in Schizopolis (1996), Out of Sight (1998), The Limey (1999), Full Frontal (2002), Solaris (2002), and Che (2008). Christopher Nolan in Following (1998), Memento (2001), and The Prestige (2006). Memento, with its fragmentation and reverse chronology, has been described as characteristic of moving towards postmodernism in contemporary cinema. Richard Linklater used nonlinear narrative in Slacker (1991), Waking Life (2001), and A Scanner Darkly (2006); Gus Van Sant in Elephant (2003), Last Days (2005), and Paranoid Park (2007). Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai explored nonlinear storylines in the films Days of Being Wild (1991), Ashes of Time (1994), Chungking Express (1994), In the Mood for Love (2000), and 2046 (2004). Fernando Meirelles in City of God and The Constant Gardener. All of Alejandro González Iñárritu's films to date feature nonlinear narratives. Takashi Shimizu's Japanese horror series, Ju-on, brought to America as The Grudge, is also nonlinear in its storytelling.

Timeline of nonlinear films

1910s–1980s

1990s

2000s

Television

Japanese anime series sometimes present their plot in nonlinear order, for example, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Yami to Bōshi to Hon no Tabibito, Touka Gettan, and (partly) Boogiepop Phantom, Ergo Proxy and Fullmetal Alchemist.

The ABC television series Lost makes extensive use of nonlinear story telling, with each episode typically featuring a primary storyline on the island as well as a secondary storyline from another point in a character's life, either past or future.

FX's Emmy Award winning legal drama Damages starring Glenn Close, begins each season with an intensely melodramatic event taking place and then traveling back six months earlier. Throughout the season, each episode shows events both in the past, present, and future that lead up to and follow said event.


The English sitcom Coupling would often utilize non-linear narratives in which groups of men and women would independently discuss an event, after which (or during) the event would be portrayed.

Video games

In video games, the term nonlinear refers to a game that has more than one possible story line and/or ending. This allows the audience to choose from multiple different paths, that may be compatible with their style of play. This increases replay value, as players must often beat the game several times to get the entire story. Computer role-playing games, e.g. Fallout, often contain multiple paths which the player may choose from the beginning of the game. An example of this is Sega's spin-off game, "Shadow the Hedgehog".

Some video games mimic film non-linearity by presenting a single plot in chronologically distorted way instead of letting the player determine the story flow themselves. The first-person shooter Tribes: Vengeance is an example of this; another is Sega's "Sonic Adventure".

Often times game developers use the idea of character amnesia in games. Character amnesia helps give a game a beginning because the audience only has the understanding that there is a preceding history before the events of the game take place. The characters amnesia allows the developers more leniency with what possibilities or paths the audience can potentially take. This option of choosing paths ultimately results in the development of a non-linear story. Furthermore by creating a nonlinear story line the complexity of game play is greatly expanded. As stated earlier, non-linear game play allows for greater replay value which grants the player to put together the different pieces of a potentially puzzling storyline. This idea of having a complex and deep storyline while the user has little or no prior knowledge of past events is clearly evident in games like Facade. In Facade the player is put into a situation that lasts approximately 10 to 15 minutes in real time yet the events recalled seem to have a basis in years of dramatic history. <ref>Chen, Sherol. "Nonlinear Storytelling in Games: Deconstructing the Varieties of Nonlinear Experiences." Expressive Intelligence Studio Blog | EIS at UC Santa Cruz. Web. 17 Nov. 2009. <http://eis-blog.ucsc.edu/2009/08/nonlinear-storytelling-in-games-deconstructing-the-varieties-of-nonlinear-experiences/>.</ref>

HTML Narratives

In contemporary society webpages or to be more correct, hypertexts, have become affluent forms of narratives. Hypertexts have great potential to create non-linear forms of narratives. They allow for individuals to actually interact with the story through links, images, audio and video. An established hypertext narrative is Public Secret.<ref>Daniel, Sharon. "Public Secrets." Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. <http://vectors.usc.edu/issues/4/publicsecrets/>.</ref> Public Secret illustrates the reality of being incarcerated in California's Criminal Justice System. It brings to light the way inmates are treated. This functions as a non-linear narrative because it allows for its audience to witness through text and audio the reality of being a female inmate. However, there is no exact beginning or end as there are in comic books or video games. This website consists of multiple subtopics that do not force the audience to make their next selection based on what their previous experiences.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Nonlinear narrative" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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