Film As A Work Of Art
According to Film Art, it consists of “setting, costume and makeup, lighting, and staging” (Bordwell 115). In “The Wizard of OZ” these aspects of Mise-en-Scene all come together to make up a spectacular viewing experience. Created in 1939 and directed by Victor Fleming, “The Wizard of Oz” was one of the first successful Technicolor films. Since this film was shot primarily in color, it gave the directors and costume designers many new opportunities to use color in ways that they hadn’t been able to before. The main point I will be demonstrating is how the filmmakers effectively used color and costuming to convey certain feelings and messages throughout the film.
The opening scene of ‘Oz’ was shown in sepia. The costumes in the first few scenes were very plain and simple and were typical of the clothing that would actually be worn on a farm at the time. Along with color, the costumes represented the mundane of life on the farm and the class of family that Dorothy came from. The lack of color in Kansas represented the difficulties of the Great Depression that was taking place at the time. These relations to the real world drew the audience into the story and started to set them up for what happened next.
As soon as Dorothy arrived in the Land of Oz everything changed. Everything was just the opposite of Kansas; mainly “black and white Kansas versus colorful Oz” (Bordwell 68). In Kansas we had no idea that Dorothy’s dress was blue or that Toto was blackish grey. Now everything took on a new meaning. The color in Dorothy’s dress and the color of her skin gave her a happier, more hopeful feeling. In fact, the whole setting was happier and more hopeful. The high saturation of the colors made Oz a much more appealing place than Kansas. The dress of the people in Oz was more exciting and appealing also. Possibly the most interesting costumes of the film are worn by the munchkin people in Oz. These costumes are used to show...