Black Panther Analysis

Just saw black panther. Very solid movie. Definitely breaks away from the typical marvel formula. Well fleshed throughlines too. I’ll wait until we’ve all seen the movie to begin dissecting. Went with my jotter. Was figuring out storypoints and writing. Started with the static points and then throughlines. It was fun.

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Can’t wait - trailers make it look like a snooze fest, but all I hear are great things about it. Daughter saw it last night and loved it. Said it was best Marvel movie.

It can be really fun to do this… but I’ve definitely found analysis to be more accurate after sleeping on it. You wake up the next day (or two or three days later) and suddenly you’re like, “OMG how did I not see that? It’s staring me in the face!” With distance comes increased objectivity.

That’s me, though! Your experience may differ.

Thanks for the recommendation though @Khodu and Jim / Jim’s daughter – my wife doesn’t usually go for superhero movies but I think she’ll go for this one. I was worried it would be nothing but special FX and no story.

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@jhull and @mlucas, I slept and was sifting through it point by point. First time it’s ever happened. Storyform is definitely a breakaway. It’s actually meaningful. One lesson settled in my head forever. The story driver is should be appreciated objectively, not from the MC throughline. It’s so easy to fall into the subjective analysis of Narrative. Lol. Plus there’s a very subtly hidden propaganda message (Dramatica-wise) hidden under the more obvious one. So that’s two threads of propaganda, and I love it!

We have tickets for Tuesday night.

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Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Want the community to see it and then we’ll tear it apart.

You love the propaganda? Or, you love that the film stuffed in two throughlines of propaganda?

Not sure I could ever get into propaganda. Not sure I’d want to either. Nothing like a great story for the sake of the story. Indeed, been watching older films lately for that reason :slight_smile:

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I love the skill of their hiding. It’s seeing the extra layers of the message. It’s like a piece of flat bread left too long in the fridge. You try to peel one off and the other is stuck to it, so much so that you might mistake them for one piece because you’re hungry.

Propaganda as it is generally connoted is a bit different from what we mean in Dramatica (and what it originally meant in the field of brainwashing and persuasion technique).

The popular definition of propaganda is an argument that bashes you over the head with one side of it.

The real definition is an argument that deliberately leaves out a piece of the puzzle so that the audience is persuaded to complete it themselves. That’s all. It’s like gestalt: look at an almost finished line-circle and your brain imagines it completed.

So in Dramatica, propaganda is the technique of leaving out part of the storyform so that the audience inserts their own meaning into that gap. It makes them complicit in the argument.

No idea how this applies to Black Panther – haven’t seen it. But those are the general basics.

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For the sake of clarity, I include The Theory Book’s p.253 definition:

Propaganda, n. 1. any organization or movement working for the propagation of particular ideas, doctrines, practices, etc. 2. the ideas, doctrines, practices, etc. spread in this way. (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary)

Propaganda: 3. a storyforming/storytelling technique used to impact an audience in specific ways, often employed to instigate deliberation and/or action. (Dramatica)

It’s pretty much the same thing. For Dramatica, the story becomes the vehicle through which a message is being sent.

The manner in which an author propagandises a story would be of the kind described above - which is to deliberately leave out a pattern or patterns in order to force the audience to fill in the blanks.

The reason the missing patterns need to be hidden is so that the audience doesn’t suss it out. The missing patterns can be made to be quite obvious, but then the audience has a choice in whether to accept the message or not. (Choice, oh no! Can’t have that! Lol!)

Of course, this brings us to authors who are not Dramatica experts.

When new authors write, they will likely leave out some pieces or patterns, unwittingly. Is this also propaganda?

Dramatica is based on the model of the “human” mind trying to solve an inequity. A lot of good writers have the gift. What Dramatica does is to show you how that mind was working. What processes were happening in their mind even though the writer wasn’t consciously aware of it. Seasoned writers probably are, but their illustrations are often “felt”. They just feel that it works. Dramatica strips the muse naked in a way. Lol. No more teasing, no more holistic seduction( giving you just enough to keep you hooked and controlled). It’s just…bare.

Saw it yesterday. Highly recommended for those on the fence about it! It’s much more small-scale and intimate than other Marvel movies (mostly, anyway – I have a bit of an issue toward the end, but that involves spoilers).

Definitely didn’t think it was propaganda in the Dramatica sense. I’ll hold my thoughts until more have seen it, but there were many moments where I sat there thinking “Oh, that’s clearly the OS Symptom. Everyone keeps citing that as the problem.” or something similar. It never felt like I was filling in gaps. It actually felt mostly clear to me where everything sat (the IC is the only thing that I’m torn on).

Anyway, I’ll wait until more people have seen it. But yes, very good.

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I finally saw this today. I definitely enjoyed it, though I think my expectations were a little too high as I didn’t totally love it. (I often have trouble with suspending disbelief in the bigger-scale superhero movies, whereas smaller things like Daredevil TV series on Netflix work much better for me.)

Like @jhay I thought the OS Issue and problem quad were really clear throughout, as is the OS Concern and I think the Goal too. (The Goal seems to require careful phrasing, but we can discuss that.)

The IC and RS throughlines seemed a bit lacking though. Would be interested in others’ take on these.

Are folks still interested in analysing this?

P.S. Sorry I took so long … the two older kids loved it but it wasn’t appropriate for my 7-year-old so it was hard to find the right time!


I did an anlysis of this at one point. So, I can share mine when everyone is ready. Are we ready yet?

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I say just go for it. It’s been out so long it’s now one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. I’ll let someone that’s seen it more recently start us off because I have to find my notes out.

Let’s do this, people!

Starting with Domains:

MC: Universe

OS: Physics.

RS: Psychology

IC: Mind

Wait, wait. We haven’t identified the throughlines yet. Who is MC/IC etc?

These are my thoughts, but the IC/RS is very ropey for me (I agree with @mlucas, I don’t think there’s a lot there):

OS: Protecting Wakanda from Outside Forces
MC: T’Challa
IC: Killmonger (maybe a bit of Nakia near the beginning)
RS: Cousins/Rivals

I really struggled to identify the IC because the characters were so heavily engaged in the OS that I struggled to find anything that wasn’t tied to that. I also don’t really like when villains are the IC, but I think Killmonger and Nakia share a unique perspective of “We need to open our doors to the world” that is a constant challenge to T’Challa. The only difference is that while Nakia has good intentions, Killmonger’s are… distinctly not. So they impact him in two very different ways.

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I agree on Killmonger for part of the IC throughline.

I didn’t notice Nakia sharing that “We need to open our doors to the world” perspective, though I might have just missed it? W’Kabi (the friend who ended up supporting Killmonger) definitely espoused that idea, though he seemed mostly an OS character.

The other possibility for sharing IC throughline is T’Challa’s (dead) father, King T’Chaka. At face value it seems he had the exact opposite perspective from Killmonger, but he did impact T’Challa, and in Dramatica sometimes exact opposite is the same thing. Like, maybe the IC perspective is about protecting your own kind no matter what it takes, something like that. You could sort of see Killmonger and King T’Chaka both espousing that.

There was also a definite relationship between T’Challa and his father T’Chaka, which was developed to a point (the last ancestral spirit world visit), and then after that the relationship between cousins seemed to take over.

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I agree with T’Challa for MC

IC : Nakia / Killmonger ( There is a handoff between these two ). Notice they never talked to him at the same time, yet both of them represented an alternate perspective on Wakanda embracing the world. Nakia’s influence is more subtle/lingering. Also notice it was Killmonger and T’Challa that had that “you and I are alike” moment.

OS: Preserving the way of life as it’s always been ( Concern of Doing )

RS: Being who’s best suited to rule Wakanda ( Concern of Being )

My thoughts.