Question 10: Discuss the misè-en-scene in the film Moulin Rouge!
According to Wikipedia, misè-en-scene in French literally means, "putting into the scene"; however in cinema term it refers to the positioning of the actors or actresses, lighting, setting, props, costumes, make-ups, acting, space and also time.
The movie that is about to be analyzed is Moulin Rouge! a modern musical filled with lyrical dialogue, directed by Baz Lurhman who also directed Romeo and Juliet. Baz Lurhman is very fond of directing love stories and therefore Moulin Rouge! is yet another tragic love story. The story, which is said by a few film critics and based on a Greek Methodology website this movie was, adapted from a Greek legend call Orpheus and Eurydice in the underworld. The legend was that; in short, is about Orpheus a musician (can be refer to Christian since he is an artistic writer) goes into the underworld (Moulin Rouge, which Zidler refers to as the underworld') to rescue his one true love, Eurydice (referring to Satine, because she is trapped in Moulin Rouge), but in the end Orpheus who was in doubt fail to save Eurydice and Eurydice dies. This scenario could be referred very well to Moulin Rouge! because Satine did die at the end of the movie.
Moulin Rouge! is a love story based strongly in a Bohemian culture on Beauty, Freedom, Truth and Love. Where Beauty comes in the form of Satine the courtesan, Freedom is referring to the freedom to love, but in this case Satine is deprived of that element at the end of the story, the Truth element of the story comes in the form when Christian finally realizes why Satine lie to him and the fact that she did love him all along. Love, which is the main element of the whole movie depicted in the relationship between Christian and Satine.
The movie starts of with Toulouse played by John Leguizamo telling or rather singing Christian's story to the audience, who in return will tell us his and Satine's story, which took place in a years time. The starting of the show was in black and white using a grainy impression to give the audience an idea that this event happen 100 years ago and give this film a very "old" feeling.
The film is set in the 1900's during the Bohemian Revolution in France, Montmartre; which is the center of the bohemian revolution. In the beginning of the film, Baz Lurhman uses what seems like the filming skills of the Lumiere's brothers. The film was in black and white, zooming and speedily bringing the audience through dimmed, narrow, dirty streets filled with street prostitutes, drunkards and also the famous absinth bars at that time. Colour was only slowly brought into the film when it reaches Christian's apartment. Here in the film it shows Christian in a very unattended state, his apartment is a mess, papers are thrown all over the floor and liquor bottles on the table and the one in his hands suggested that he had been drinking. The lighting in this scene was using the blue filter, it is also an element of hard light, cause we can see the contrast of the shadows very clearly, and the blue filter was use to give the audience the impression that this event happen during the night and to give the feeling of despair to Christian's un-shaven state. There Christian slowly move to the typewriter to tell us his story, the phrase " The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return" which is one of the film's tagline will be repeated many times throughout the entire show. The movie and story was told in a way where Christian tells the audience the ending of the story at the very beginning. So, the audience of the movie would not be asking what would happen, instead they will ask Why did it happen?' and How did all this happen?' and the story was told using flashbacks.
Here, the film goes back to the very beginning...
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