… the art of storytelling is in the magic of REframing the narrative.
That is the moment of spontaneous combustion—the Frankenstein spark—that brings the narrative to renewed and eternal life. 1st Frame: here’s our protagonist. 2nd Frame: something (typically out of the ordinary) happens. 3rd Frame: the protagonist “acts” within the new (unexpected) scenario. 4th Frame: here’s our protagonist, again. But action having been taken, providing some sort of resolution to the previous scenario, we see the 1st Frame with different eyes. Or at least, in remembering the beginning as best we can, we sit it differently; we have new information, we reframe the frame.
Is this really magic? No, it’s design, carefully crafting the narrative, in Hitchcock’s case, through highly controlled storyboarding techniques.
The frame and reframe technique of storytelling is even more thrillingly illustrated in Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 murder mystery, Rashomon, in which the audience is shown the same disturbing story of rape and murder from four different protagonist’s points of view, concluding with a fifth vantage point, so that each frame, and then reframe, is ultimately RE-reframed from every participant’s perspective. Dizzying but exhilarating. The initial gloomy overcast of rape and murder is erased by the illuminating blue sky (albeit black and white) of the director’s final framing.