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Mise En Scene Essays

Mise-en-scene is a term originates from France. It means, put in the scene. For film, it has a broader meaning, and refers to almost everything that goes into the composition of the shot including framing, movement of the camera and characters, lighting, set design and general visual environment, even sound as it helps elaborate the composition. Mise-en-scene can be defined as the delivery of cinematic space, and it is precisely space that it is about.

That space, the mise-en-scene, can be unique closed off by the frame, or open, providing the illusion of more space around it. Mise-en-scene filmmaking directs our attention to the space of the shot itself. For the viewer, a film that depends upon mise-en-scene and long shots makes special demands. Without editing to analyze what is important in a scene by cutting to a closeup of a face or an object, the viewer is required to do the looking around in the shot, to be sensitive to changes in spatial relationships and the movements of camera and actor.

Even a film that uses a lot of shots and cutting may still depend on the mise-en-scene to articulate meaning as each cut reveals a different spatial relationship. Perhaps a general rule is that films made in the classical continuity style point of view usher the viewer through the progress of the narrative. Films that depend on mise-en-scene ask true viewer to pause and examine the compositional spaces of the narrative. The classical continuity style is directive the mise-en-scene style contemplative.

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