Applications of Vladimir Propp's formalist paradigm in the production of cinematic narrative

Lesinskis, J 2009, Applications of Vladimir Propp's formalist paradigm in the production of cinematic narrative, Masters by Research, Creative Media, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Applications of Vladimir Propp's formalist paradigm in the production of cinematic narrative
Author(s) Lesinskis, J
Year 2009
Abstract Originally an analysis of underlying structure in European wonder tales (folk tales), Vladímir Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale (Morphology) has been revisited as a reference for various applications including film theory, story generation and interactive drama systems. What applications can Propp’s work have within a studio mode of teaching and learning as found in film school pedagogy, where importance is placed on creative endeavour, reflection on action and the end product? How can Propp’s work be utilized in film school pedagogy in a way that might contribute to our understanding of formal properties and techniques, art/design thinking and competence and the body of knowledge that underpins the discipline of film and the production of cinematic works?

This thesis will review the place of Propp’s Morphology in relation to cinematic narrative as encountered in a film school setting. In doing so, it will attempt to identify aspects of Propp’s Morphology that are relevant and useful to students engaged in the production of film or cinematic artifacts that relate to story and plot formulation. The parallel between Propp’s work and classic Hollywood film narrative is illustrated by the correlation between Propp’s observations of fundamental folk tale characters and their actions (dramatis personae and their ‘functions’) and their counterparts in commercially successful feature film.

The potential for reapplying this formalist schema for pedagogical and generative purposes beyond its original taxonomic purposes will be explored by using Propp’s Morphology as a primary reference in relation to a critically successful independent short film produced within a film school.

Ultimately the aim of this study is to reappraise the value of incorporating the formalist logic of Propp as one of a number of potential resources within practical film school pedagogy where storytelling is a key focus.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Creative Media
Keyword(s) Vladimir Propp
cinematic narrative
narrative morphology
film pedagogy
story telling
story structure
interactive narrative
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Created: Fri, 10 Dec 2010, 11:06:14 EST
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