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Media Story-Telling


According to meadows (2003), contemporary media, such as digital media, creates a new paradigm for storytelling that departs from what existed traditionally. The shift entails a violation of honesty and reality and viewer, thus rethinking the conventions often associated with cinematic tales. Kinder (2002) takes the approach of, instead of abandoning narrative, films incorporate interactivity to create a new framework which she calls a “narrative database .”A narrative database is a new film genre that captivates and engages the viewers deeper.

Through an analysis of Amelie, this article endeavors to adopt these lines of reasoning to demonstrate that the distinct interactive capabilities of media coupled with a novel storytelling framework creates a more profound sense of engagement among the spectators associated with captivation of their cognitive and adequate attention.

Amelie film background

The film that will be analyzed for its cinematographic storytelling in this text is a romantic comedy Le Fabuleux Destine d’Amelie Poulain, which will be referred to as Amelie. The film was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and was released in 2001 (du Plock, 2022). it soon garnered positive reviews for its narrative and photography. Central to the plot is Amelie, a mischievous and jolly waitress who is constantly preoccupied with engagement in good acts (Oscherwitz, 2011). the lady is well-meaning and always tries to assist those around her, manipulating all the possibilities within her means after the passing on of Princess Diana.

Examples of Amelie being selfless include giving out her childhood toys to a man who lives next door to her, which pleases the man. Another instance is when she assists two strangers by facilitating them being friends and finally falling in love with each other. This drive to positively impact the lives of those around her finally lands her in love. There are essential thematic concerns hidden under the comic piece, which are brought out in a cinematographic narration style. The movie Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain is a hallmark of french film production since it improved their use of contemporary cinematography (Hu, 2016).

The film Amelie is a narration of an epiphany. This can be said to be a movie about nothing (Duncombe & Marsden, 2014). It isn’t easy to analyze the movie based on theoretical plot, structure, and narration guidelines. The movie has a narrator whose voice can be taken to be that of Jean, the producer. Among the last lines from the movie goes:

“September 28th, 1997. It is exactly 11 am. At the funfair, near the ghost train, the marshmallow twister is twisting. Meanwhile, on a bench in Villette Square, Felix Lerbier learns more links in his brain than atoms in the universe. Meanwhile, at the Sacré Coeur, the nuns are practicing their backhand. The temperature is 24°C, humidity 70%, atmospheric pressure 990 millibars.” (Amélie (2001) – IMDb, 2023).

This statement further supports our argument that the movie lacks major theoretical requirements. However, this is a unique storytelling antique that is accepted in film. It shows the advancement of media as a storytelling device. It goes against the belief that storytelling should have a beginning, plot development, and conclusion (Gakhar & Thompson, 2007)


The story of Amelie is given in two parts: the first is through a voice-over of an omniscient narrator, and the second is through plot development itself. A person is introduced via the voice-over narrator, or the narrative voice may describe a period in the character’s life that the movie does not show. For instance, towards the movie’s opening, Amelie’s parents and other supporting cast members are introduced by the voice, explaining some weirdly hilarious character features. The voice-over narrator also organizes these portions of the tale as they are being told. In other words, he is narrating the tale while allowing Amelie’s voice to come through directly; the movie is narrated from Amelie’s point of view. On the other hand, the majority of the story is conveyed via the characters’ exchanges with one another (Rode, 2018).

In this instance, the filmmaker demonstrates as well as tells. A golden rule of cinema is show, do not tell. The movie, however, defies this rule. Therefore, it stands out as exceptional. The narrator is an extension of Amelie’s imagination and thought process. A personality that transforms everyday situations into grandiose ones, elevating the mundane to the awe-inspiring.


In the movie, time is skewed in various ways. The movie starts with Amelie’s birth, then provides a summary of her childhood, and then fast-forwards to her as a young adult, which is when most of the story takes place. The movie progresses at a different pace each time, and the gaps in time are of varying lengths, even though the information is presented in a sequential format. For example, the movie provides a short synopsis of Amelie’s early childhood, during which time it discusses her purportedly “weak” heart as well as the passing of her mother. The narrative then progresses to the time when Amelie is a young adult and becomes significantly more specific at this point (Correia & Barbosa, 2018).


The production team mainly applies several elements to develop characters, create the ambiance and mood and enhance themes in ten storylines. Cinematography has been capitalized heavily by the production team to tell different stories. These are discussed in this section.

Use of colors

The usage of specific colors additionally enhances the film’s narrative. Specifically, the film’s primary hues were yellow, green, and brown. The selected color scheme gives the picture a warm and joyful atmosphere. This relates to the thesis because it lets the audience “see” the story’s central topic, humorous romance. A mix of romance and comedy is not only pleasant but also inviting. The colors also contribute to the film’s upbeat atmosphere, which complements Amelie’s attitude. It is vital to remember that the color scheme significantly impacts how viewers perceive the presented material. Although one may argue that yellow is a powerful hue(specifically to the eye), the inclusion of brown and green, bringing the total number of earth tones to three, provides the picture with a balanced color scheme (James, nd).

Green, which in certain cultures represents optimism and nature, was a prominent hue. This relates directly to the character of Amelie. Yellow represents warmth, happiness, comfort, and something weird, which fits Amelie’s creative nature. Red is undoubtedly a prominent hue. According to du Plock (2022), in this instance, red indicates warmth, vitality, passion, and love, which may characterize Amelie’s life and disposition. The article reads,

“Red cherries, crimson raspberries, and her redfish all represent her ardor and youthful, vigorous intellect. This pattern is kept throughout the film, as she constantly wears something red to reflect her youth, a crucial period in the character’s growth.”


The production team has also majored in lighting to build the narrative. A warm color filter, probably from post-production, is applied to the opening scene. This indicates that the afternoon has arrived. As the opening scene takes place outdoors, flooding the area with light achieves this effect, and the picture’s expressive illumination helps convey France’s romantic atmosphere and setting. During the sequences depicting Amelie’s upbringing, a method was used to create the appearance of an ancient super eight film. This approach incorporates a series of bright light flashes between segments to create the impression of a home movie.

At the beginning of the action, as Amelie descends the stairs, a single backlight is the primary illumination source. Due to the use of a single illumination, the photo is relatively low-key, providing higher contrast and throwing light shadows on all of the scene’s objects. In contrast to the typical three-point lighting in the other locations of the scenario, this unique use of lighting indicates that something wicked is occurring in the shadows when Amelie enters the room after removing one of the keys from the key ring (Correia & Barbosa, 2018).


By manipulating motion, the film developed this link between the character and the spectator in an intriguing manner. This is typical in Jean’s films since he is well-known for blending cinematic elements to tell his tales. The production staff worked diligently to ensure that audiences would connect to Amelie at all phases of her life and as she helped others. For instance, when the main character was excited and cheerful, the production staff ensured that the motion was likewise quick. In contrast, she moved slowly when upset, nervous, or excited. She exploits the film’s movements and guarantees that the audience comprehends the cast’s mindset at any given point. This aspect demonstrates that the ideograph is just as significant as the story since it boosts the audience’s ability to identify with the character.

Staccato editing, often known as quick editing, is another facet of production that can be seen in both opening sequences (Chun, 2017). The sequence in Amelie, in which she is a youngster and is getting small revenge on a guy who had terrified her, features quick editing. While the guy is watching the soccer game on the television, Amelie is removing the power cord. Rapid editing has resulted in the activities in this scene having a jerky, furious appearance because the guy in the scene is enraged and acting out his anger. This technique involves cutting the clips to become shorter and shorter to build up to a more intense climax.


As the story of Amelie proceeds, staging and framing play a significant part in aiding the scene’s progression. Screen positioning, camera shot selection, and angle are manipulated, creating the scene’s staging and highlighting specific parts of the story (De Nooy & Juliana, 2018).

Scene one begins with Amelie being positioned between two doors, which features her on the stairs. This provides a fascinating juxtaposition. In this image, two distinct compositions are framed by each door and each segment of the staircase, and each is highlighted by its lighting. Amelie’s personality is obscured on the right side of the frame by the door where she put the papers under the doormat, a stairway heading down, and a hazy shade. As Amelie reaches the left side of the frame, the light illuminates her face, restoring her individuality; this is accentuated by the stairway heading back up to her chamber and the keys to the door. The keys in the door are an extension of Amelie’s personality, symbolizing the concept of choice.


In conclusion, general standards for storytelling and narration have existed for as long as the concept itself. However, novel media is quickly redefining this. The film Amelie is an example of such a deviation. First, in the concept of a linear flow of ideas from the introduction to the conclusion. Amelie’s production team made haphazard transitions to the plot, sometimes skipping significant events such as the lifetime of Amelie. Secondly, the film breaks the golden standard of the show, not tell, which has governed movies over time. Instead, it has a narrator synonymous with Amelie’s thought line. Cinematography has also been heavily applied to the film’s storytelling. The production team used color, lighting, motion, and camera angle to tell essential details such as pot development, capturing the mood, and involving the audience. The film Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain is therefore considered an epiphany, an advancement of storytelling in media, lacking a major central theme rather than the life of Amelie.


Chun, D. (2017). The essence of Dance and a Camera. Mānoa Horiz, 2.

Correia, A. F., & Barbosa, S. (2018). Cinema, aesthetics and narrative: Cinema as therapy in substance use disorders. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 60, 63-71.

Duncombe, J., & Marsden, D. (2014). “From here to epiphany…”: Power and identity in the narrative of an affair. In The State of Affairs (pp. 141-165). Routledge.

du Plock, S. (2022). Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain: A psychological case study in the uses of enchantment: Presentation given at the 37th International Conference on Psychology and the Arts, Montreal and online, June 3rd 2021. Existential Analysis: Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis, 33(1).

Gakhar, S., & Thompson, A. (2007, March). Digital storytelling: Engaging, communicating, and collaborating. In society for information technology & teacher education international conference (pp. 607-612). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Hu, Z. (2016, July). Analysis of Accordion Application in movie Art. In 2016 5th International Conference on Social Science, Education and Humanities Research (SSEHR 2016) (pp. 562-566). Atlantis Press.

James, V. C. B for beautification: A Study on Colour Symbolism in Changing Scenario of FILMS. Editor’s Note, 114.

Kinder, M. (2002). Hot spots, avatars, and narrative fields forever: Bunuel’s legacy for new digital media and interactive database narrative. Film Quarterly, 55(4), 2-15.

Meadows, D. (2003). Digital storytelling: Research-based practice in new media. Visual communication, 2(2), 189-193.

Oscherwitz, D. (2011). Once Upon a Time that Never Was: Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001). The French Review, 84(3), 504-515.

Rode, M. (2018). Paris in cinema-The representation of Paris in the films An American in Paris by Vincente Minnelli, Playtime by Jacques Tati and Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.


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