Saturday, 7 April 2012

Vladimir Propp's 31 functions

Vladimir Propp was a Russian literary critic and Scholar who studied/analyzed basic plot components of Russian fairytales/folk tales. With his findings he came up with his 31 functions that he claimed most folk tales and fairytales mimic. You will have already seen this on both Sarah and Jess's blogs but I thought it was better if we all do it so you (the examiner or whoever is reading) can see what we as a group discussed would happen had we continued with the film from each of our perspectives.

Our story would've followed these functions -
  • Interdiction - A warning addressed to 'the Hero' against some action. Jess isn't neccessarily 'The Hero' but this does match up with our dream sequence where we hear her best friend (Sarah) ask her what's going on and Jess replies by saying she can't tell her, warning her not to pry.
  • Violation of Interdiction - The interdiction is violated (I think the name is pretty self explainatory) This isn't shown in the actual opening/film though it is apparent that Sarah has ignored Jess's warning as the opening is centered around the concequences of whatever Jess and Sarah have done ("You promised me you wouldn't tell her.")
  • Trickery - The villain attempts to deceieve the victim to take possession of victim or victim's belongings. The Villian (Hannah, so me.) is deceiving/tricking Jess into killing people by convincing her that she's trying to help. (In our first draft my character says "Jess i'm trying to help you." and would more than likely continue to do so throughout the rest of the film.)
  • Complicity - The victim is taken in/falls for deception. Jess can be considered as 'The victim' with this idea as my character convinces Jess to go along with my plans. (In the dream sequence we hear Jess say: "Fine i'll do it." in response to my character saying: "I need you to do this for me.")
  • Beginning Counter-action - The hero now decides to act in a way that will resolve the problem or lack. Although this isn't shown in our opening two minutes we agreed that later on their probably would be 'A hero' who tries/succeeds to stop Jess/Hannah killing people. We also discussed Jess's character becoming 'The Hero' and trying to stop herself from killing people by rebelling against my character in some form (will be explained in another function) though by showing Sarah finding out what was happening and that resulting in her death suggests she did try to stop her and foreshadows someone else trying.
  • Hero's reaction - Hero reacts to actions of future donor. As I mentioned above Jess would probably return to her senses in some way and try to stop herself from hurting anyone else under my characters influence. We discussed the possibility of Jess going to prison because she turned herself in or something of that dramatic nature as her way of stopping it.
  • Receipt of magical agent - Hero acquires use of a magical agent. In the opening sequence Jess is using some kind of magical book that contains a Satanic Ritual. It is likely she received it from my character.
  • Struggle - Hero and Villain join in direct combat. This wouldn't neccessarily mean my character and whoever the hero turned out to be actually fighting but later on in the film we would have shown some kind of struggle between the one's doing the killing and the one's trying to stop it. Perhaps the struggle would occur between Jess in the form of 'The Hero' and Esther as Jess tries to stop herself from being manipulated by my character by turning herself in.
  • Victory - Villain is defeated. While discussing how we would end our film we came up with the idea that Jess (after having been arrested) realising that Esther was in her head the entire time (as it's a Psycholoical thriller. Well it was supposed to be...) and the only way to escape from her and the influence she has over Jess's character would be that she kills herself. It's a very depressing ending to a very depressing film. We sound sadistic. We're not usually. I promise. :)
  • Unfounded claims - False hero presents unfounded claims. The Police or detective or whoever is involved in solving the murders (though they probably wouldn't be shown) would take credit for catching Jess and everyone would believe it as Jess isn't around (mentally or physically depending on the ending) to prove them wrong.

1 comment:

  1. Are there any of his functions which you have intentionally subverted of you thought important to conform to?