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When the Style is the Message. 'The Aesthetics of Mood in Rectify and Les Revenants

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Paper presented at the "Aesthetics of Television Serials Conference", 2-4 November 2017, Universitat de València (Spain)

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When the Style is the Message. 'The Aesthetics of Mood in Rectify and Les Revenants

  1. 1. When the Style is the Message. The Aesthetics of Mood in Rectify and Les Revenants “Aesthetic of Television Serials Conference” Gandía, 2-4 November 2017
  2. 2. Defining Mood  “The primary emotive effect” (Smith, 2003)  “How we are affectively attuned to that world” (Sinnerbrink, 2012)  “Aesthetic features combine to create a unified mood, which attunes the viewer affectively to the film and facilitates the cueing of emotions with stylistic devices” (Tarvainen et al.)  “The affective character” (Plantinga, 2012)  Narrative content  Character action  Mise-en-scène
  3. 3. Defining Mood  “The primary emotive effect” (Smith, 2003)  “How we are affectively attuned to that world” (Sinnerbrink, 2012)  “Aesthetic features combine to create a unified mood, which attunes the viewer affectively to the film and facilitates the cueing of emotions with stylistic devices” (Tarvainen et al.)  “The affective character” (Plantinga, 2012)  Narrative content  Character action  Mise-en-scène
  4. 4. Mise-en-scène and mood in TV  Opening credits as a mood “reminder”
  5. 5. Les Revenants (opening credits)
  6. 6. Rectify(opening credits)
  7. 7. Mise-en-scène and mood in TV  Opening credits as mood “reminder”  Cold open as emotional settler
  8. 8. Les Revenants (cold open)
  9. 9. Mise-en-scène and mood in TV  Opening credits as mood “reminder”  Cold open as mood settler  Visual and musical leitmotivs
  10. 10. Mise-en-scène and mood in TV  Opening credits as mood “reminder”  Cold open as mood settler  Visual and musical leitmotivs
  11. 11. Les Revenants (Canal +, 2012-15) Dead people come back to life and return to a small French town. The Alps, the dam, the small village. Forget the explanation, embrace the emotion: loneliness, remorse, pain, loss, grief… and the inexplicable.
  12. 12. Les Revenants: amazement and pain  The sublime landscape: mistery and menace (rythm)
  13. 13. Les Revenants: amazement and pain  The sublime landscape: mistery and menace (rythm)  The aesthetics of reaction (close-up)
  14. 14. Les Revenants: amazement and pain  The sublime landscape: mistery and menace (rythm)  The aesthetics of reaction (close-up)  Mogwai music(mise-en-scène)
  15. 15. Rectify (Sundance Channel, 2013-16) A man is released after nearly 20 years on death row, but is he innocent? Meditative, slow, quiet, whispery style. The burden of guilt, the impossibility of emotional reconstruction
  16. 16. Rectify: melancholy and entrapment  A world too fast (rythm)
  17. 17. Rectify(slow paced)
  18. 18. Rectify: melancholy and entrapment  A world too fast (rythm)  Characters framed, locked in (mise-en-scène)
  19. 19. Rectify: melancholy and entrapment  “Well, we talked from season one onwards about frames within frames. We frame pictures and paintings and we frame stories and framing is the rectangular, the square, the sharp lines. 90 degree angles are human made and nature deals more with circles, so that’s interesting. We like the metaphor of being enclosed. The frame, in the most radical sense, is the frame inside the death row. So, hopefully, there are a lot of levels which it is working on and we continue with ways to do that.”  (Ray McKinnon, creator of Rectify)
  20. 20. Rectify: melancholy and entrapment  A world too fast (rythm)  Characters framed, locked in (mise-en-scène)  Symbolic color and lightning
  21. 21. Rectify(Goodbye, Kerwin)
  22. 22. Alberto N. García Martínez School of Communication University of Navarra (Spain) albgarcia@unav.es Web - unav.academia.edu/AlbertoGarcía Blog – diamantesenserie.com Twitter - @AlbertoNahum

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