Marnie by Alfred Hitchcock: How Mise-en-Scene and Sound Create Meaning

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  • Topic: Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, Bernard Herrmann
  • Pages : 4 (1523 words )
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  • Published : October 17, 2012
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An analysis on how Mise-en-scene and sound create meaning and generate response in the film Marnie, by Alfred Hitchcock. The scene is of Mark trying to rekindle Marnie’s memories from the night of her mother’s ‘accident’: Marnie, having seeing Mark trying to hold back her mother’s punches, begins to remember parts from that night. The first shot, of Marnie, her mother and Mark, uses Mise-en-scene to show the higher achy within the three characters. Whereas towards the beginning Hitchcock had always had Marnie positioned higher than other characters to show her importance and power, he now has her positioned lower than the other two characters; she is constantly being looked down on by both Mark and her mother. It introduces the aspect of her being childlike because she is now having to look up to other people and being talked down to rather than on an equal level. This idea is reinforced when she begins speaking as though she were back to the time of the ‘accident’ – her words are spoken erratic and panicked. Another example Hitchcock shows to imply the idea of Marnie being childlike is that all of the movements and gestures that are directed towards Marnie, are those that would be expected to occur between a parent and child. Although the speech within the first shot is Diegetic Sound; there are two sub-types within the shot. All speech up until when Marnie speaks to tell Mark to let her mother go is simple diegetic sound. However when Marnie begins speaking the sound briefly becomes both simple diegetic; as she is speaking in the present to both Mark and her mother, and displaced diegetic sound; as she is saying these words also from her past. As the scene moves forward slightly external non diegetic sound is introduced with the diegetic sound. The background music is the same sound sequence repeated multiple times, but increasing the volume as it is repeated. This background music creates a tense atmosphere as they are waiting to see whether or not Marnie...
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