CIN105Y1 Lecture 4: CIN LECTURE 4, MISE-EN-SCENE

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May 19, 2016
CIN LECTURE 4: MISE-EN-SCENE
Formalist Approach:
Films and how they are first and foremost a system comprised of parts
We make hypotheses based on what is presented to us based on form and style of films;
through narrative and style (these make meanings)
The two large-scale formal systems we will be studying (film form works through these
two systems)
1) the narrative system
2) the stylistic system (defined by the patterned use of medium-specific elements)
Representational Medium medium-specific elements to film such as
cinematography and editing
A film’s stylistic system is defined by the patterned use of medium-specific elements
Categories of Film (Audio-Visual Film Component Breakdown):
1. Mise-En-Scene (costumes, performers, lighting, etc.)
2. Cinematography (technical factors that determine how the camera renders what is placed
before the lenssuch as moving camera, distance from actor, etc.)
3. Editing (joining shots together and selecting which film material to use and how to
organize itincludes duration, frequency, order, rhythm, etc.)
4. Sound (dialogue, speech, sound effects, music)
5. Music (creating meaning through the soundtrackthrough juxtaposition or similarity
with the visual)
Some questions regarding formal techniques in a given film…
How is it used or developed?
Does it contain motifs?
How does it get viewer’s attention?
Does it create certain expectations and responses in the spectator?
How does it contribute to the communication of the meaning?
Mise-En-Scene:
Term comes from the theatre (how theatre theorists had described or illustrated the way a
play functioned on a formal level
KEY ELEMENTS setting, lighting, costume, makeup, staging, performance
How certain ideas are reflected through these elements
Similar to stage play, in film these elements are much the same
Sometimes, Mise-En-Scene is unplanned in a film (Ex. shot from “Casino” where an
accidental camera movement was put in the film)
However, usually Mise-En-Scene is highly staged and choreographed (Ex. “Collateral”
Vincent has grey suit, grey hairthis is part of his persona)
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Document Summary

Representational medium medium-specific elements to film such as: a film"s stylistic system is defined by the patterned use of medium-specific elements cinematography and editing. Some questions regarding formal techniques in a given film . Vincent has grey suit, grey hair this is part of his persona) An american in paris & breathless are both set in paris, and the locations influence performance and camera movements: setting . Filmmakers also have to add props to the area. Props are also easier manipulated on a set (such as background cars and traffic) In breathless , there is a lot of spontaneous activity but an american in paris is very choreographed and relies a lot more on props (but then we feel more in the location in breathless ) However, sometimes, a set can look very accurate, such as in all the president"s. Men where they actually replicated the washington post newsroom to create a very convincing set.

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