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Mise En Scene And Ideology Film Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 4418 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This journal is prepared by Wm Pitzer from Appalachian State University in the year 2006. This journal has defined that the Mise-en-scene is a French word and originates in the theater. It means 'put in the scene'. So, for film, it refer to everything that goes into the composition of the shot that including framing, movement of camera and characters, design of setting, lighting control, and also general visual environment. Sound can helps to elaborate the composition.

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According to Wm Pitzer (2006), in the film 'Snow Falling on Cedars', the director Scott Hicks used the stark beauty of the landscape as deep space to provides a backdrop of the film. The costume, cars, props, building, even the telephone wires and lights has put into the scene in order to convey the viewer back in time. These visual can helps viewers to identify the time and place in the film. For the lighting in this film, most of the courtroom and close ups utilizing low-key lighting.

Wm Pitzer (2006) stated that this is the best film that combines a simplicity of form with the complexity story and plot successfully. It is one of the films that viewers can understand the meaning by watching it without the sound.

2.1.2 Mise-en-scene Applied to Level Design: Adapting a Holistic Approach to Level Design (2005)

This journal is prepared by Heather Logas and Daniel Muller in the year 2005. The purpose of this journal is to understand how useful of the mise-en-scene towards the game level designer. So, deconstruct the mise-en-scene of a classic film is an important term for the level designer in order to create more meaningful and evocative game spaces to the game.

Film theorist Robert Kolker defined mise-en-scene as: "the use of space within the frame: the placement of actors and props, the relationship of the camera to the space in front of it, camera movement, the use of color or black and white, lighting, the size of the screen frame itself". That means mise-en-scene has includes cinematography, acting style, lighting, art direction, setting, costume, props, and also the color.

Heather Logas and Daniel Muller (2005) stated that the exploration of the concept of mise-en-scene has allowed filmmakers to communicate information to the particular viewers. Mise-en-scene is a holistic approach in the frame constructing process. Mise-en-scene is the terms to inform everything about the film, so, filmmakers can create atmosphere, mood, conflict, tension in the filming space. The level designer has to refer mise-en-scene to create mood and atmosphere in the game. In order to achieve the purpose, the writer has deconstructed the mise-en-scene of a classic film in this journal - 'The Shining', directed by Stanley Kubrick.

According to Heather Logas and Daniel Muller (2005), mise-en-scene is important to look at various aspects of the film (cinematography, lighting, acting style, art direction, costume, props and color) and how it's work together to create a grater whole.

In the film 'The Shining', the human characters in this film are dwarfed in relation to other objects. The tilt down shot that watching the main character slow progress up to the mountain has established the supernatural force that is battling with the character. Means the supernatural force is huge and overpowering in order to contrast that human dwarfed by the natural landscape. The setting design is huge and overpowering in this film, the building in this film has controls what the characters can see or can't see.

The color has added complexity to the scene. Gold, red, white, pink, orange and blue colors are all colors that dominate the background in this film. Lighting is an important aspect to creating atmosphere in the setting. Props are used to add tension and create mood to scenes in this film.

According to Heather Logas and Daniel Muller (2005), mise-en-scene in used in all genres of fill to shows the full range of human emotion. Level designers have the opportunity to become a part of creating more emotional experiences in the games. So, doing research to the ways mise-en-scene used in film can help those level designers to adapt a holistic approach to their own discipline, and it also can create a deeper sympathetic response with the player for who created the game.

2.1.3 The Use of Elements of the Mise-en-scene in a Production of 'The West Side Waltz' (1985)

This journal is prepared by Jay C. Brown from Texas Tech University in the year 1985. This journal has discussed the origin of the term mise-en-scene, the definition and its possibilities, and the use of elements of the mise-en-scene in the production of 'The West Side Waltz'.

According to Jay C. Brown (1985), a director generally has a script, actors, setting, and other elements which are used in the film production. But those people are argued that apply the mise-en-scene is a right way or wrong way to directing in film. The director has to decide the most important area that must be touched in the film production. Many people are belief that the lighting, costumes and setting are the most important elements in order to make a successful production.

Placing attention upon the mise-en-scene is one of the ways to bring a theatrical production to the audiences. So, the mise-en-scene has become a part of the process in producing the film 'The West Side Waltz'. There have five major elements focused on this film in order to provide the realism of life in a concrete image to the audience. Which are directing, music, acting, lighting and scenery.

According to Jay C. Brown (1985), the film 'The West Side Waltz' has chosen to use many elements of mise-en-scene to bring a view of life to audiences.

This film was directed to show the audience the inner workings of the production and also giving audience the view of realistic to the character, make audience feel that their lives in the film is possible in the reality. The actors have to interpret their roles with realistic style when on the screen. Facial expression, dialogue, gestures and movement are the elements of 'mise', which the actors worked to achieve a rhythm, and the real of the character through this rhythm. The background music helped the actors in achieving a certain rhythm, because it can set the mood for actors to the mind of the audience. Scenery and lighting is the aspects to help enhance the realism.

2.1.4 The Mise-en-scene of 'The Belle of Amherst': The Process of the Actress (1983)

This journal is prepared by Debi Buckner from Texas Tech University in the year 1983. This journal has analyzed which has served as the primary method for developing a one-woman play character of Emily Dickinson in the film 'The Belle of Amherst' by William Luce. The semiotic process has become the primary force for her role study.

Debi Buckner (1983) stated the goal and obligation of an actor is to acting certain truth to the audiences through varying degrees and methods of representation. 'Representation' means a two-face entity linking with a mental concept or signified.

According to Debi Buckner (1983), the actor's job is to convey a message to the particular audiences. They will fail in their task if their work is so obvious that audiences are more concerned with their effort than with the message to be conveyed in the film. Effective use of the script is the good preventative to avoid this happening. So, a complete knowledge of the script is important to the actor. The semiotic method can help character in action; it can lead the character to become naturally in acting and also one emotion to the next. Actor does not have to force an emotion come out in anytime. So, the successful result is, audiences will think the actor appears to be 'doing' rather than 'acting as if he is doing'. Audiences will forget that they is watching an actor be someone else and concentrate fully on the characteristic that doing by the actor.

The role of Emily Dickinson is an good example of semiotic method of analysis in the film 'The Belle of Amherst'. She is no need to force motivations to move from one to another scene, because she was studied the script in-depth manner. The words can lead the emotion to happen; the key word has initiated a move from one to the next moment in the film. So, the result of her acting was honest and true. Audiences was forget the actress and her efforts, and paying attention on the character which developed by William Luce.

2.1.5 Analyzing a Postmodern Script through its Mise-en-scene: An Approach to Richard Foreman's 'Paradise Hotel' (2005)

This journal is prepared by Patrick A. White from Texas Tech University in the year 2005. The goal for this study is to developing a means of analyze the Foreman's texts that would be sufficient to the work of producing films that based on other texts that do not lend themselves to the conventional analysis.

According to Patrick A. White (2005), the extra-textual elements such as music and spectacle can be analyzed at the beginning rather than begin with textual elements such like plot and character. The process of analysis will be run between textual and extra-textual elements in order to achieve a central thematic idea, the foundation for a realized film production.

After the analysis of the texts, it will come out the results of the thematic idea; the basis for mise-en-scene will lead and shape the resulting film production. Although this system is different from being a specific production's concept, it can offer a method of dealing with the challenges that the filmmaker will face.

Patrick A. White (2005) stated that this kind of analysis is not only for Foreman's texts, but also by other texts that are commonly accepted the analytical systems.

2.1.6 The British Media and Muslim Representation: The Ideology of Demonisation (2007)

This journal is prepared by Saied R.Ameli, Sameera Ahmed, Syed Mohammed Marandi, Seyfeddin Kara and Arzu Merail for the Islamic Human Rights Commission in the year 2007. The purpose of this journal is to explore the relationship between the perceptions of Muslims and also the role of domination and demonization in the cultural language of the media.

According to the writer, TV news, film and literature have practices to educate audiences about Islam and Muslims. However, this journal has highlights the institutionalized prejudice that was embedded that the anti-Muslim prejudice has no need to be maliciously motivated or intentional as it was structural.

The writer has done the analysis for their representation of Muslims, Islam and Arabs through different film such as action thrillers (The Siege - 1998, Executive Decision - 1996), drama (House of Sand and Fog - 2003, East is East - 1999) and also children's cartoons (Aladdin - 1992). They found out that the negative stereotypes about Muslims, Islam and Arabs are contains in all genres of film. The examples of Islamophobic discourses, including dual discourses of racism and Islamophobia was contains in all genres film.

2.1.7 The Stereotype Caravan: Assessment of Stereotypes and Ideology Levels used to Portray Gypsies in Two European Feature Films (2003)

This journal is prepared by Elena Gabor from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the year 2003. This journal was interpreted the two films from the perspective of ideological theory that applied in film. The films are The Crazy Stranger (1997) and Time of the Gypsies (1989).

Elena Gabor (2003) found out that the main common element of these two films is the search for authenticity. The unfamiliar Romani language was used in this film and made use of cultural and ideological elements that specific to Gypsy environments.

The film The Crazy Stranger (1997) portrays the Gypsies in conflict with the dominant ethnic Romanian villagers; viewers can found out that many of the stereotypes have an identifying function that is focusing on physical appearance of the Gypsies and Romanians. In the film Time of Gypsies (1989), the filmmakers has concentrate to the negative stereotypes in a few characters that is appear violent and careless to their own relatives. While the other characters shows a simply human mixture of positive and negative features. So, this film is telling the distress resides within the Gypsy community at the time.

According to Elena Gabor (2003), these two films has succeed in presenting the ideological message that is similar to that presented by historians preoccupied with the social plight of Gypsy, the cycle of marginality and discrimination can be broken if different social groups can work together to solve their problems rather than still holding their own prejudices and discrimination.

2.1.8 A Review of Contemporary Media (2005)

This journal is prepared by John Hess in the year 2005. Through this journal, John Hess (2005) has defined the ideology is a relatively systematic body of ideas, attitudes, perceptions, and values as well as the actual modes of thinking of a group of people in a specific place and time.

According to John Hess (2005), there have four significant qualifications to the definitions of ideology. Firstly, the state, education, politics, religion, law and other activities is an indirect material of ideology. Secondly, the ruling class ideology has intentions to dominate the society although it never had been doing so completely. Thirdly, the ideology has presents an inaccurate, incomplete, distorted understanding of social reality in the society. Lastly, although the ruling class ideology is in general, each expression of it such as ideas, the state, the legal system, movies and so on is mediated. So, many American films lies in their attack on aspects of bourgeois ideology (individualism and ideas about the family) and life.

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John Hess (2005) stated that film's ideology today has creates a problem that people have narrowed the scope of considerably. People only concern their selves with the relation between the certain short periods of capitalism in their country. So, the possible relation between the patterns of sexism and racism in workplace and the way people are portrayed in the films is the point for further discussion.

2.1.9 Ideological Discourse Analysis (1996)

This journal is prepared by Teun A. Van Dijk from the University of Amsterdam in the year 1996. This journal has summarized the theoretical assumptions that developed in the current project of the writer on the discourse and ideology, and also discussed about some specific issues that have been ignored in the practice of ideological discourse analysis.

According to Teun A. Van Dijk (1996), the ideologies can defined as the systems that are at the basis of the socio-political cognitions of groups in the film 'Rosenberg'(1988). The ideologies has organized the attitudes of social group in consisting of schematically organized the general opinions about the relevant social issues such as nuclear energy and abortion in the film 'Eagly and Chicken' (1993).

Teun A. Van Dijk (1996) stated that a variety of discursive structures and strategies might be used in order to express the ideological beliefs and also the social or personal opinions derived from them. The strategy of ideology can be positive self-representation and negative other-representation.

So, the positive self-representation will be hiding or deny their negative acts or properties to others and show their good images. For the negative other-representation, they will emphasize the negative acts of other peoples in order to make their image negative.

2.1.10 Ideology and Film: Critical Methods (1991)

This journal is prepared by Douglas Kellner in the year 1991. He stated that the concept of ideology is to attacked ideas that are to make the ruling class hegemony as legitimated in the society. Which is to pretend the particular interests as the general interests, it will mystify or cover over class rule, and which thus served the interests of class domination.

Douglas Kellner (1991) argued that the ideology contains discourses and figures, concepts and images, myths and theoretical positions. Such as the expansion of the concept of the ideology is obviously opens the way of how the ideology functions within the popular culture and people daily life, images and figures constitute a part of the ideological representations of race, sex, and class in the film and so on.

According to Douglas Kellner (1991), ideology refers to primarily, which those ideas that legitimate the particular class rule of the capitalist ruling class, ideology is those sets of ideas to promote the capitalist class economic interests.

2.2 Theories and Concept Applied

Mise-en-scene and Ideological models will be included in this study in order to achieve the objective and answering the question of study. Further explanation will be the following.

2.2.1 Mise-en-scene

Timothy Corrigan (1994) defined that the mise-en-scene is a French term that roughly translated as "what is put into the scene" (put before the camera). The mise-en-scene refers to all properties of a cinematic image that exist independently of the camera position, camera movement and also editing. He stated that mise-en-scene has includes costumes, sets, lighting, the quality of the acting and other shapes, objects, and characters in the scene.

According to Graham Roberts and Heather Wallis (2001), there have three elements in the construction of the film language. Which is Mise-en-scene (What is to be filmed), Cinematography (how it is filmed), and also Editing (how that material is put together). These clearly differentiate the meaning on these three elements. The different of cinematography and mise-en-scene is, the cinematography is a form of photography, this may done how and where to place the camera before shooting, mise-en-scene is the French term that means literally 'placed on stage', so, what is placed in front of the camera called mise-en-scene.

There have five elements of mise-en-scene which are the setting, costume and make-up, lighting, space and also figure, expression and movement.

Firstly, setting, the setting able to gives audiences a sense of place (where) and time (when) in the film. In this journal, Graham Roberts and Heather Wallis stated that the setting can appear to be natural, such like the background of house, office, street, city where the character live, or it can create the sense of the fantastic and other-worldly often seen in the science fiction films such like Star Wars (1977) and Alien (1979). The setting can also provide us with information such as where and when the action takes place, mood, characters, type of story and the genre of the film. There have confronted with a basic schism within film-making and indeed theorizing about film in formalism, expressionism versus realism. The formalism stresses that how things are shown rather than simply what takes place, it need to consider the film is art when it goes beyond a representation of reality to become something more than reality. Expressionism has rejected realist modes of representation. So, the expressionist films are highly stylized. Realism claims that film's strength is its special relationship with the real world. So, all the things put in the scene must be similar with the real world.

Michael Rabiger (2003) stated that the blocking, which including the planning locations of the actors in relation to each other, the action in relation to the setting or location, camera placement in relation to actors and setting. For the camera, refers to filmstock and processing, or color settings in the scene, this is include the choice of lens, composition of the scene, camera movements and coverage in the editing process.

According to Timothy Corrigan (1994), the powerful illusion of realism of the film is the major reason for our tendency to overlook and to undervalue the mise-en-scene in the particular film. The illusion of realism in the film is a kind of mise-en-scene that makes viewers believes that the images of everyday in reality are simply in the film. So, the clothing, the homes and also the props is an important element in order to apply realism in the scene.

Graham Roberts and Heather Wallis (2001) also defined the costume and make-up. They stated that costumes are in a sense part of the setting. The costume can differentiate the social class, cultural background and character traits. In the process of watching a movie, it's requires viewers to make an instant judgments that they like the character or not by observing dress. Make-up and personal props are included in costume; costume has gives audiences a sense of time, place and characterization as well as type of story and genre. So, the make-up is important in maintaining the illusion created by a particular setting. The changes of costume can also highlight the changes in a character situation or feeling.

According to Graham Roberts and Heather Wallis (2001), the 'figure' in figure, expression and movement covers range of possibilities, it can be a character and also could be an object or animal. Generally we will think this as 'acting'. This is made up of the visual elements of body language, appearance and facial expressions. Body language is important because normally when we dealing with others, we can judge other people by observing body language. The positioning of characters within the frame can create the relationship between them. Facial expression is also important part of acting. Audience tends to follow the eye movements of the character in the film.

Timothy Corrigan (1994) argued that many writers have mistakenly believed that these theatrical features are somewhat unsophisticated topic for analysis, because they appear to be more a part of a dramatic tradition than a part of a cinematic tradition. For some other writers, analyzing the narrative or the camera work is more important than evaluating the quality of acting by actors or actresses. He also stated that the tools and the terms of mise-en-scene are the keys to the important features of any film.

Lastly, the photography is writing in light. Without light, there have no object can be seen in film. Lighting is also an important element in mise-en-scene. Beside illumination, light also helps the viewer to construct meaning from the images, because different style of light can create different mode to the particular scene. There are four major features of film lighting which is intensity, source, direction and colour. Under intensity is the hard lighting and soft lighting. For light source, it can be natural (sunlight, firelight) or artificial (lamps). Direction is the path of light to the object lit. Different direction of lighting can create different mood to the object that have been illuminate. Colours carry their own symbolic meanings. Warm colour represent to intimacy, happiness and relaxation, cold colour represent sadness and tension. Graham Roberts and Heather Wallis (2001) has quoted the sentence "The proper use of light can embellish and dramatize every object" by Josef von Stemberg. Means, the lighting is the important element in order to dramatize particular object in the scene.

According to Robert Kolkerk, the point of view means what a character sees in the scene, it is built out of the basic cinematic units of shot and cut. Viewers will assume that what they are seeing in the scene is what the character is seeing if a shot of a character is looking at somewhere is followed by a shot of an object or another person in the scene.

Robert Kolkerk (2002) stated that the most effective element in the film is the first-person in film by creating interplay of gazes through the intercutting of the particular characters who look and the people or things that they are looking at. Mute third person voice is mostly narrated in the film, the overseeing eye of the camera and the controlling movements of the cutting. The point of view of the first person in the film can built into this general third person structure, articulating it with the intensity of the individual gaze.

2.2.2 Ideological Models

Ideology refers to a set of beliefs that is about the society and the nature of the world that is involved some judgments such as what is right or wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice, social order, law and human nature. The ideology can be in different perspectives, which is from individualism, gender relations, importance of family life, race, history, politics and other human related matters.

Ideological models refer to the relationship between the films and society in terms of the representation of social and political realities. So, most of the films would add in the ideological elements into the plot or story.

Based on the ideological models, viewers are able to learn something from the particular film that is portrayed ideological elements. This is able to make viewers believe that the ideology in the film is same with the reality; even this is not real in 100%. This model is the intention of the filmmakers that they try to change viewer's minds or belief.

The ideological models have six approaches which are 1) Studies of Hollywood Hegemony, 2) Feminist Studies, 3) Race Studies, 4) Class Studies, 5) Postcolonial Studies, 6) Queer Theory. All these approaches will be defined in chapter three.

2.3 Summary

By studying the journals about mise-en-scene, it can help me to know more about the application of mise-en-scene in other different film. The ideas of the writers are a good guideline for me in order to doing study about mise-en-scene.

Besides that, by studying the journals about the ideological elements in the films, it's giving me a better understanding of ideological models. Its help me to have a clearer idea and direction in order to achieve the objective of this study.


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