How to Write a Mise-En-Scene

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Mise-en-scène Analysis
(pronounced: miz-on-sen)

Approximately 600 words

“Mise-en-scène” is a French expression used by film critics which literally translates to “setting in scene”. In English, it essentially means “the visual theme”. It relates to everything that appears in front of the camera, its arrangement and how it is edited.

You need to choose a film (it doesn’t matter whether you enjoyed it or not) and analysis its mise-en-scène. You can present this as a report (the format will be discussed further in class).

Your report needs to include some key aspects of Mise-en-scène in relation to the film you have chosen:

1.Decor: What objects are used that are significant to the narrative? Do they amplify character emotion? Do they affect the mood on the film?

2.Lighting: Comment on its intensity, direction and quality. Does it affect the way an image is perceived? (e.g. The dark lighting in meeting scenes in ‘Schindler’s List’.)

3.Costume: What do the characters wear? What colours, designs, etc? What does this say about their character?

4.Acting: How do the actors speak? Are they believable? How are the actors arranged? Give examples.

You also need to use screen shots to support each example – make sure they relate exactly to the point you are making. Use as many images as you like.

Alexis Adams, film studies, 31st May 2009, Lecture on mise-en-scene (we had to write a format)
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