05 Mise-en-scene par..

Mise-en-scene and representation
Theoretical notions
key terms
4 basic aspects of the mise-en-scene
Costume and make-up
Figure Expression and
 Can dynamically contribute to the
narrative action
 Human beings less important than
in theatre
Controlling setting
 Controlling setting:
 location (existing)
 vs. studio (constructed).
part of setting operated
actively, prop may become
a motif (curtain in Psycho).
Colour often used to create parallels (Almodovar).
Costume and makeup
Important source of information
Crucial in suggesting genre
Stylization or reconstruction
figure expression and movement
 Not only people as characters (animals,
robots, aliens etc. Terminator, Star Wars,
Robocop, Lassie, Free Willy)
 Actors performance: visual elements
(appearance, gestures, facial expression)
and sound elements (voice, effects)
 Acting and actuality: individual performance
vs. ‘typage’.
 Gives shape to objects by shadow / light
 Draws our attention
 Articulates textures (e.g. rough – diffused
reflection vs. smooth – gleam or sparkle)
Lighting can be discussed in terms of its
and colour:
Quality: intensity of illumination:
Hard lighting creates clearly defined shadows.
Soft lighting – crates gradual transition from highlights to
3-point system
Classical, three-point system of
1. key light;
2. fill light (to get rid of
3. back light
widely used in Hollywood films and TV
usually as white as possible but sometimes filters are used to
simulate a natural light source – candlelight, sunset etc.
wash-over effect – domination of one hue (e.g green).
other features of mise-en-scene
Décor – may indicate characters’ emotions or dominant mood
of the film (contrast – Ziemia obiecana, mood – Space Odyssey
2001 – furniture, spacecraft design etc.)
Critical tool in the creation of
cinematic space
“Magic” of the cinema
“Glamour” and “glitz”
Articulation of aspirations
Cinema helps dreams and aspirations to gain a more concrete
Interesting relationship - stereotypes:
Cinema builds stereotypes.
Cinema takes from common stereotypes.
1920-1930 in Hollywood
Technical sophistication
complex camera movements
editing refined
Crucial moment in the history of the cinema
Introduction of sound with many consequences for the
development of the art.
A true revolution and challenge.
Jazz Singer
1927 – first widely distributed sound movie.
Jazz Singer
Huge commercial success.
Not a sound movie in a modern sense.
Silent movie with some song sequences.
Conversion within 2 years, all films with sound.
Early results rather unimpressive, technology clumsy and
awkward (some time needed to make the technology more
user-friendly and more reliable).
Change of guard
disappearance of certain actors and directors
New careers – vaudeville actors, etc.
Change of guard
Griffith and Eisenstein: no longer successful
Early sound films: Initially loss of fluidity, primitive, silly.
Era of the MUSICAL
1930s – the Studio System
The Majors: MGM, 20th c. FOX, Columbia, Universal Studios,
RKO, Warner Bros.
“Film factories”
Actors and directors on contract: several films a year.
“Star system”
Focus on glitz and glamour
Representations of
glamorous lifestyles.
Artificial jobs – focus on
leisure and consumption.
Warner Bros. - more
realistic, representation of
the working class people,
more down-to-earth plots.
Sex and violence in the 1930s
Freaks, Scarface
Condemnation and calls for
Hollywood Production Code
introduced after 1934
Cinema of the code
no bathroom with toilet
no single bed for unmarried characters.
crime – always punished.
no kissing or touching etc.
Result: Creativity!

similar documents