MISE-EN-SCENE & Movies

The arrangement of everything that appears in the framing – actors, lighting, décor, props, costume – is called mise-en-scène, a French term that means “placing on stage.” The frame and camerawork also constitute the mise-en-scène of a movie” (Moura).  There are four “general areas: setting, lighting, costume and staging.  At the end we have also included some special effects that are closely related to mise-en-scène” (College film). Plus, the acting make an excellent fifth area.

Setting: 

CAPTAIN CORELLI’S MANDOLIN

The big star of this movie has to be the setting.  For this movie, the setting is actually the Greek Island of Cephallonia.

“Following the release of the movie in 2001 the island was busting at the seams with tourists coming to see the movie’s romantic Greek setting for themselves.

Movie location tours are offered on the island although it is debatable whether the steep path-ways and crowded beaches live up to the idyllic setting portrayed in the movie.

Most of the filming took place in the village of Sami.  The Italians’ campsite was built on Antisamos Bay and the bomb explosion beach scene took place on Myrtos Bay” (Top 10).

Lighting:

SCHINDLER’S LIST

Who can deny the lighting in Schindler’s list?

“Lighting for black and white is a different critter altogether. Certain color tones either come out garish or washed during filming. The art is in the light. Delicate in parts and bold in others, the lighting of this film’s various scenes mirrors the ever changing mood. Despair, hope, anger and triumph are all reflected in the light.

The contrasts in this film are numerous and effective as well. The pale faces in the darkened alleyways for example, as well as the bright candles in the dark, are images that show us the duality of man and the boundary between good and evil. Oskar Schindler’s face is seen as a contrast as well. Often veiled in shadow, his complexities are subtly implied. Even the use of black and white is a metaphor showing us the contradictions of our nature” (Taste of cinema).
Costume:

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

When a person talks about costumes, Alice in Wonderland has to come up.  The eccentric costumes for all the characters help the audience understand who is who, and if the person is supposed to be good or not.

The costumes in Alice in Wonderland were designed by Colleen Atwood.

“Costuming can also be used to establish someone’s hierarchic level. Regimentals, for instance, bear the status of the person who wears it. And even the color may distinguish an enemy from a friend” (Moura).

Staging:

THE GODFATHER

“The meaningful arrangement of the actors on the set is called blocking. The way in which the actors are positioned can show the dominance of one character over another, the importance of family or religion, and a myriad of other relationship possibilities” (College Film).

The Godfather does this really well in almost every scene.  Look at the scene where “Clemenza embraces Michael, shaking and kissing his hand, clearly anointing him as the new Don Corleone of the Family: “Don Corleone.” Rocco is the second one to kiss his ring hand” (The Godfather).

Acting

TITANIC

“Acting has become one of the most important elements of modern, popular film. An actor or actresses performance can make or break a movie regardless of how engaging the story is or how well the editing was done etc… It is the actor’s duty to bring his or her character to life within the framework of the story. Their emotional input dictates how strongly the audience feels about the film. An actor must be completely aware of his or her character and be ready to portray their emotions and actions as if they were their own. The actor is the basic element of 99% of films and it is their duty to bring the movie to life in a realistic and easily understood way” (College Film).

“Imagine how terrifying it had to have been for Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, two people to have never met before to suddenly find themselves face to face, and having to do a nude scene together. What also makes this first meeting even more embarrassing is the fact that the infamous Titanic drawing scene is pretty much in the middle of the movie, and by this time, both Jack and Rose are starting to feel things for one another. Talk about two very gifted actors! The scene shows two people in love, and that is not something that can be easily done, yet Winslet and DiCaprio make the viewer believe that they are in love even though in real life the two had barely met” (Titanic)

Reference:

Moura, G. (n.d.). What is mise-en-scene? Elements of cinema. Retrieved from: http://www.elementsofcinema.com/directing/mise-en-scene.html

Website:

http://collegefilmandmediastudies.com/mise-en-scene-2/

http://www.filmsite.org/godfC.html

http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/the-10-most-exquisitely-lit-films-of-all-time/

http://www.titanicuniverse.com/titanic-drawing-scene-interesting-facts-from-the-titanic-movie/3307#sthash.cqRSGFqC.dpuf

http://www.tripbase.com/blog/top-10-greatest-movie-locations-of-all-time/

Grease

The Sounds of Grease!

Title: Grease

Director: Randal Kleiser

Screen Play: Bronte Woodard

Writers: Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey

Main Actors: John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

Producer: Robert Stingwood & Allan Carr

Musicians

  • Drums: Olle Brown, Carlos Vega, Musicians[edit]
    Drums: Olle Brown, Carlos Vega, Cubby O’Brien, Ron Ziegler
    Bass: Mike Porcaro, David Hungate, Max Bennett, David Allen Ryan, Wm. J. Bodine, Dean Cortez, Harold Cowart
    Guitar: John Farrar, Tim May (“Born to Hand Jive”), Jay Graydon, Lee Ritenour, Dan Sawyer, Bob Rose, Dennis Budimir, Thomas Tedesco, Cliff Morris, Joey Murcia, Peter Frampton (“Grease”)
    Keyboards: Louis St. Louis, Greg Mathieson, Mike Land, Lincoln Majorca, Thomas Garvin, Ben Lanzarone, George Bitzer
    Saxophone: Ray Pizzi (“We Go Together” & “Greased Lightnin'”), Ernie Watts (“There Are Worse Things I Could Do” and “Alone At A Drive-In Movie”), Jerome Richardson, John Kelson, Jr.
    Trumpet: Albert Aarons, Robert Bryant
    Trombone: Lloyd Ulyate
    Percussion: Eddie “Bongo” Brown, Larry Bunker, Victor Feldman, Antoine Dearborn
    Harp: Dorothy Remsen, Gayle Levant
    Concertmaster: James Getzoff
    Contractor: Carl Fortina
    Copyist: Bob Borenstein
  • Bass: Musicians[edit]
    Drums: Olle Brown, Carlos Vega, Cubby O’Brien, Ron Ziegler
    Bass: Mike Porcaro, David Hungate, Max Bennett, David Allen Ryan, Wm. J. Bodine, Dean Cortez, Harold Cowart
    Guitar: John Farrar, Tim May (“Born to Hand Jive”), Jay Graydon, Lee Ritenour, Dan Sawyer, Bob Rose, Dennis Budimir, Thomas Tedesco, Cliff Morris, Joey Murcia, Peter Frampton (“Grease”)
    Keyboards: Louis St. Louis, Greg Mathieson, Mike Land, Lincoln Majorca, Thomas Garvin, Ben Lanzarone, George Bitzer
    Saxophone: Ray Pizzi (“We Go Together” & “Greased Lightnin'”), Ernie Watts (“There Are Worse Things I Could Do” and “Alone At A Drive-In Movie”), Jerome Richardson, John Kelson, Jr.
    Trumpet: Albert Aarons, Robert Bryant
    Trombone: Lloyd Ulyate
    Percussion: Eddie “Bongo” Brown, Larry Bunker, Victor Feldman, Antoine Dearborn
    Harp: Dorothy Remsen, Gayle Levant
    Concertmaster: James Getzoff
    Contractor: Carl Fortina
    Copyist: Bob Borenstein
  • Keyboards:Musicians[edit]
    Drums: Olle Brown, Carlos Vega, Cubby O’Brien, Ron Ziegler
    Bass: Mike Porcaro, David Hungate, Max Bennett, David Allen Ryan, Wm. J. Bodine, Dean Cortez, Harold Cowart
    Guitar: John Farrar, Tim May (“Born to Hand Jive”), Jay Graydon, Lee Ritenour, Dan Sawyer, Bob Rose, Dennis Budimir, Thomas Tedesco, Cliff Morris, Joey Murcia, Peter Frampton (“Grease”)
    Keyboards: Louis St. Louis, Greg Mathieson, Mike Land, Lincoln Majorca, Thomas Garvin, Ben Lanzarone, George Bitzer
    Saxophone: Ray Pizzi (“We Go Together” & “Greased Lightnin'”), Ernie Watts (“There Are Worse Things I Could Do” and “Alone At A Drive-In Movie”), Jerome Richardson, John Kelson, Jr.
    Trumpet: Albert Aarons, Robert Bryant
    Trombone: Lloyd Ulyate
    Percussion: Eddie “Bongo” Brown, Larry Bunker, Victor Feldman, Antoine Dearborn
    Harp: Dorothy Remsen, Gayle Levant
    Concertmaster: James Getzoff
    Contractor: Carl Fortina
    Copyist: Bob Borenstein
  • Contractor: Carl Fortina
  • Copyist: Bob Borenstein

There are three basic categories of sound:

Dialogue:  The dialogue between the characters are essential to understanding the story that is happening.  Plus, it goes into details about how the two main characters met before the movie started.  Plus, the comedy inside the script was great.  For example, “A hickey from Kineckie” or when Kenickie says: Hey, you got a couple of quarters?  We can split an eskimo pie. Rizzo replies: My Dutch treat days are over.  Kenickie then states: You plan on staying home a lot!

Sound Effects: The sound effects are vital to make the movie more realistic.  For example, the part of the movie where the characters are at the end of the year carnival, the sound effects made the audience hear the carnival sounds.  Another example is when the engines were racing for the Pinks.

Music: There was a lot of music in this movie, since it was a musical.  The music helped tell the story and the emotions that were going on with the characters.  For example, during the sleep over when Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) was outside at the baby pool, the song she was singing was a sad one.  The audience could feel the emotions with the characters because of the music.

Sounds in Grease helped in establishing the theme for example, Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee to Your the One That I Want.

The songs were done in the 1970s yet the feel of the movie is 1950s, and the sounds definitely help make the genre.

The scene and sequence would be hugely differently if the sound of Sandy/ Sandra Dee were done in a different order.  The movie would not make a lot of sense for the audience.

Jaws

Lighting- Jaws

Title: Jaws

Director: Steven Spielberg

Screen Play: Peter Benchley & Carl Gottliev

Main Actors: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, & Richard Dreyfuss

Producer: David Brown & Richard D. Zanuck

Lighting: Bill Butler

Theme: “A gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist, and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it” (Imdb, 2015).

Benefits of Style of Lighting: The benefits of this lighting is that the natural light makes the scenes more realistic; which in turn will sell more tickets to the fans that enjoy to be scared.  The ability to change the brightness make the scary parts even scarier.  It allows the audience to know that the big shark is heading towards someone.

Technique contributed to the theme: A couple techniques are 1) negative space, 2) darkness, 3) lighting for calmness.  Negative space is used every time the shark is coming.  Darkness and ominess helps create the scared atmosphere.  While the lighting is used also for calmness.

Lighting technique suited to Gender: “For Chief Brody, there were tons of close ups, mostly to signify the importance of his character” (Film studies). The first witnessed shark attack, really set the mood to something is up and there is something bad happening. “As well as the frames that Chief Brody gets into, such as the one of the shark jaws as they left to find the giant shark. As well as Hooper and Quint, they both get framed, Hooper gets framed in the anti-shark cage, and when quint is on the mast of the ship looking down at Brody and Hooper, there is a X that frames him. The frames really showed that something could happen to them, it was foreshadowing something” (Film studies).  “When Brody and Hooper take the latter’s boat out to search for Ben Gardiner’s boat, Spielberg displays his first penchant for using light to reveal mystery, danger and wonder, accompanied by John Williams at his airiest (musically it is about get heavy very soon). Like the rest of Jaws’ lighting scheme, it has a realistic light source — Hooper’s super-duper lamp — but set against the high-key look of the rest of the film, it has an otherworldly, sci-fi feel to it” (Freer).

Scenes would be different:  “The high angle is shot is pointing down at the shark from Chief Brody’s position, and the low angle shot is from the sharks position pointing up at Chief Brody. Although it was suppose to show dominance and weakness.. it should have been reversed. I also think that those shots might have been accidental because it didn’t really fit” (Film studies).

Reference:

Freer, I. (n.d.). Steven Spielberg, Jaws and ‘God light’ Spielberg’s signature trait is missing from Jaws. Or is it?  Retrieved from: http://www.empireonline.com/features/jaws-god-light

IMDB. (2015). Jaws 1975. Retrieved from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073195/

Flim studies. (2009).  Retrieved from: ]http://mackncheese-jaws.blogspot.com/2009/09/jaws-usage-of-film-techniques.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCfWHqrYUqo%5B/embed