Mise-En-Scene In Cinema

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1.1. The Origin and History of Mise-en-Scene in Cinema “A term that means everything and nothing very specific.” (Martin 2014) Coming from the French term for staging, mise-en-scene (pronounced meez-on-sen) can be literally translated as ‘placing on stage’. Although it is now a common term found in the field of film studies, the term mise-en-scene actually originated from theatre play where it used to describe the visual elements of a stage production within the confines of the stage itself (Lathrop and Sutton n.d.). This involves not just the design and arrangement of the props on the stage to set up the scene but also the actors involved, their positioning on the stage, and their performance itself. The term is then borrowed by filmmakers…show more content…
And indeed, while a person may not remember how the camera moved in a scene or how one scene transitioned into another after watching a film, they will remember the costumes worn by the actors, the settings and props where a scene takes place, the mood and lighting of the scene itself, and at the centre of it all, the performance of the actor within the scene. These visual elements: the costumes, settings and props, lighting, and the actor’s performance, are all aspects of mise-en-scene which is inherited from its origin in theatre play. The director of the film then ties up all these elements together and they are what gives a movie a lasting impression in the mind of its…show more content…
It is how films first instil a sense of realism in its viewer and clue them on the location and period where it takes place. Compared to its more passive role in theatre play as merely a background for the performers to stand in, the setting and set design in films can and does hold an important and active role in setting up the narrative through the scenic atmosphere and the connotation that it gives (Bordwell and Thompson 2013: 115). For example, in the film Buried (2010), the mood and tone of the narrative set up by the film relies heavily on its setting: the cramped coffin-like box where the main character, Paul Conroy is trapped in. Surrounded by the stifling darkness, the film tries to instil the same sense of claustrophobia in its viewers as felt by Paul. In doing so, it successfully put the viewers off their balance and draw their attention towards his despair (Smith
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