Mise en scèneFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchThe distinctive mise-en-scène of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Germany, 1920)Mise-en-scène (French pronunciation: sɛ n] "placing on stage") is an expression used todescribe the design aspects of a theatre or film production, which essentially means "visualtheme" or "telling a story" —both in visually artful ways through storyboarding, cinematographyand stage design, and in poetically artful ways through direction. Mise-en-scène has been calledfilm criticisms "grand undefined term."When applied to the cinema, mise-en-scène refers to everything that appears before the cameraand its arrangement—composition, sets, props, actors, costumes, and lighting. Mise-en-scènealso includes the positioning and movement of actors on the set, which is called blocking. Inmodern filmwork, these are all the areas overseen by the director, and thus, in French filmcredits, the directors title is metteur en scène, "placer on scene." During the 1920s through the1940s, these areas were typically overseen by the producers, titled variously as the producer, theproduction designer, the art designer, or the art director. Irving Thalberg of MGM was alegendary example of a producer who oversaw such production details.Contents[hide] 1 Interpretation 2 Key aspects of mise en scène 3 References o 3.1 Further reading 4 External links Interpretation
This narrow definition of mise-en-scène is not shared by all critics. For some, it refers to allelements of visual style—that is, both elements on the set and aspects of the camera. For others,such as U.S. film critic Andrew Sarris, it takes on mystical meanings related to the emotionaltone of a film.Recently, the term has come to represent a style of conveying the information of a sceneprimarily through a single shot—often accompanied by camera movement. It is to be contrastedwith montage-style filmmaking—multiple angles pieced together through editing. Overall, mise-en-scène is used when the director wishes to give an impression of the characters or situationwithout vocally articulating it through the framework of spoken dialogue, and typically does notrepresent a realistic setting. The common example is that of a cluttered, disorganized apartmentbeing used to reflect the disorganization in a characters life in general, or a sparsely decoratedapartment to convey a character with an "empty soul" (e.g., Robert De Niros house on the beachin Heat), in both cases specifically and intentionally ignoring any practicality in the setting.In German filmmaking in the 1910s and 1920s one can observe tone, meaning, and narrativeinformation conveyed through mise-en-scène. Perhaps the most famous example of this is TheCabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) where a characters internal state of mind is represented throughset design and blocking.The similar-sounding, but unrelated term, "metteurs en scène" (figuratively, "stagers") was usedby the auteur theory as a disparaging label for directors who did not put their personal vision intotheir films.Because of its relationship to shot blocking, mise-en-scène is also a term sometimes used amongprofessional screenwriters to indicate descriptive (action) paragraphs between the dialog.Only rarely is mise-en-scène critique used in other art forms, but it has been used effectively toanalyse photography. Key aspects of mise en scèneSet design An important element of "putting in the scene" is set design—the setting of a scene and the objects (props) there in. Set design can be used to amplify character emotion or the dominant mood of a film, or to establish aspects of the character.Lighting The intensity, direction, and quality of lighting have a profound effect on the way an image is perceived. Light (and shade) can emphasise texture, shape, distance, mood, time of day or night, season, glamour; it affects the way colors are rendered, both in terms of hue and depth, and can focus attention on particular elements of the composition.Space The representation of space affects the reading of a film. Depth, proximity, size and proportions of the places and objects in a film can be manipulated through camera placement and lenses, lighting, set design, effectively determining mood or relationships between elements in the story world.
Costume Costume simply refers to the clothes that characters wear. Using certain colors or designs, costumes in narrative cinema are used to signify characters or to make clear distinctions between characters.Acting There is enormous historical and cultural variation in performance styles in the cinema. Early melodramatic styles, clearly indebted to the 19th century theater, gave way in Western cinema to a relatively naturalistic style. References 1. ^ Brian Henderson, "The Long Take," in Movies and Methods: An Anthology, ed. Bill Nichols (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), 315. 2. ^ Bordwell, David; Thompson, Kristin (2003). Film Art: An Introduction, 7th ed.. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0072484551. External links The Straight Dope: What do artsy film critics mean by "mise-en-scene"? Yale University Film Analysis Site: "mise-en-scene" Buster Answers: Mise en Scène Indy Mogul 4 Minute Film School: Mise en Scene