Sunday, 1 April 2012

Vladimir Propp's 31 Functions.

Here are the functions brought about by Vladimir Propp. He analysed Russian folklore and fairytales and came up with those 31 functions which most fairytales adhere to. Our opening credits do not establish these; however, for the purpose of this exercise, Hannah, Jess and I discussed what would happen next in the film and how it would end.

Using another of Vladimir Propp's theories on fairytales, we first had to establish each of his "characters".
  • The villain: Hannah.
  • The victim: we were uncertain as to whether this was Jess, or the people she kills. Jess maybe, because she's hooked by Hannah, but the people she kills definitely because, obviously, they get killed.
  • The hero: we had no idea. We thought maybe the person that uncovers what Jess is doing (obviously not my character, who did discover it, but got killed before I could tell anyone...). Possibly a friend of Jess's, or the family of one of her victims. Probably just one person, though.
Our film includes the following 'functions':
  1.  Interdiction: Jess warns Sarah (apparent from the dream) not to ask what's happening with Jess.
  2. Violation of interdiction: It is obvious from the events that Sarah ignores this warning and gets killed.
  3. Trickery: Hannah deceives Jess into thinking she should kill people for her own benefit.
  4. Complicity: Jess is decieved and goes with Hannah's plans.
  5. Beginning counter-action: this is not shown in the first two minutes, but the hero of our piece would try to stop Jess.
  6. Receipt of a magical agent: Jess receives a book which she believes to be magical.
  7. Struggle: this would be in the film, with the hero and Jess/Hannah trying to dispose of the hero.
  8. Victory: we thought that at the end, Jess would be arrested, leaving her all alone with Hannah in her head, so she eventually kills herself (cheerful chaps we are).
  9. Unfounded claims: the police take all the credit for catching Jess.

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