Monday, 30 April 2012

Functions of Narrative (Propp)

Media productions generally rely heavily on the narrative (movement of plot), and this is especially the case in the film industry. Films are pretty much always used to tell a story (whether fictional or factual) and so the plot is pretty much the spine of how the film is presented.

Over time the narratives which have been employed have been analysed and it is becoming clearer that there are some plot attributes which can be observed in multiple productions.

One piece of work which this concept can be related to are the findings of Vladimir Propp, who, from studies of Russian folk stories, suggested that there are 31 functions which a narrative may make use of.

As we haven't extended our coursework film's story beyond the first two and a half minutes we haven't introduced any major plot devices, however we can still see examples of a few of the functions in what we have --

- Abstentation: This states that "One member of family absents himself or herself". Whilst this appears pretty vague, we can see that our leads - Luke, Oliver & Samir - have removed themselves from the conformity which is expected in school, and have decided to skip lesson.
- Interdiction: Interdiction states that "An interdiction is addressed to the Hero--a command, request, suggestion, etc.". This is not explicitly stated in the piece, but is instead implied; we know Oliver has been kicked out of the lesson, but something must have made Luke and Samir feel the need to meet up with him. Chances are Oliver's character had rung them to meet up; thus meeting the "request" part of the function.
- Lack: "Some tales may initiate complication through lack or insufficiency rather than villainy .The family may desire something or lack something" - Again meeting in with the "not being in lesson" thing, it's clear that the characters lack the previously mentioned norm of conformity to the school's system. This is later exaggerated further when they start drinking in the street, now subverting the norms and values of society as a whole, rather than just the school's culture.

Source of information


1 comment:

  1. Rememebr the need for screenshots and interactive content wherever possible to keep hitting the higher marks in terms of form, purpose, audience, use of technology and visuals.