Wizard of Oz

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The Wizard of Oz (1939) uses both mise en scène and sound to create an immense sequence of dream imagery, particularly in the second to last scene where Dorothy is at the point of going back to Kansas. This scene is distinctly significant in terms of mise en scène and sound as it concludes the film and highlights the themes that have been revealed throughout, giving a clearer message to the film’s audience. The mise en scène is used to describe what it is the frame and why it is there. The scene near the end of the film where Dorothy is saying goodbye to the fantasy characters before leaving to go home in a hot air balloon is particularly significant in terms of mise en scène. The setting consists of bright colours in the Land of Oz which contrast against the dull colours used in the following sequence when Dorothy arrives back home. The juxtaposition of the contrasting colours depicts the differences between reality and fantasy. The director is trying to show that although reality may seem dull, ‘there is no place like home,’ therefore its purpose contributes to the viewers’ understanding. The Wizard of Oz is well known for its range of tonalities. The director contrasts both the black and white sepia effect with the use of the three strip Technicolor process in order to show that the fantasy world is more appealing than the real world. The image uses high exposure and high colour contrast once Dorothy steps into the Land of Oz, which contrasts against the dull black and white effect of the first sequence at the farm. The colours stand out more than before, which creates a much sharper and brighter image. The black and white effect is repeated again in the very last scene once Dorothy is home, highlighting the difference once again. David Bordwell suggests that viewers judge the mise en scène of a film by standards of realism. (Bordwell, 2008, p. 113) The setting of Oz is constructed as a magical dream land, and therefore audiences will not expect a realistic...
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