Lecture7 - Week 7. Mise-en-Scne lighting, setting, acting,...

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Week 7. Mise-en-Scène lighting, setting, acting, and blocking
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Mise-en-scène means the “placing in scene” or staging of cinema It comprises all elements of the profilmic: Setting and set design Lighting Costumes, props, and makeup Acting and figure placement ( blocking ) Profilmic : the thing(s)/reality in front of the camera, to be captured by the camera. Definition of mise-en-scène
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Form vs. Content CONTENT FORM Actors Acting style Props and Setting Set design Actions Blocking Costumes Costume design Makeup Makeup design Analyzing form means analyzing artistry
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Kracauer and mise-en-scène Siegfried Kracauer is a film theorist generalizing about the medium. He uses Lumière and Méliès as indicative of two tendencies in cinema: “The realistic tendency” “The formative tendency” (Lumière) (Méliès)
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Two aesthetic poles of mise-en-scène His distinction is important for a couple of reasons The realist/formative distinction points to two approaches to mise-en-scene: Realism/Naturalism : aims for plausibility or even hyper-plausibility (making the spectator feel that film is reality) mimetic : art mimicking reality Expressionism : aims for implausibility for artistic ends (asking spectator to appreciate film as film) expressive : art conveying emotion or meaning
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Realism as Construct Second, Kracauer gets at the artificial nature of “realism” as a quality of film: “Strangely enough, it is entirely possible that a staged real-life event evokes stronger illusion of reality on screen than would be the original event had it been captured directly by the camera” (35). Greg Smith argues something similar: “When I put on a shirt in the morning, I do so with very little thought. .. By contrast, a movie character’s shirt is chosen by a professional whose job it is to think about the shirt this character would wear.”
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Acting Naturalist acting gives illusion of immediacy. This illusion adheres primarily to film acting, but not stage acting. Expressionist acting calls attention to and exaggerates movement and gesture. It may be stilted or excessive.
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Acting and "Realism" What qualifies as "realistic" acting changes over time and by social context. Both presentational acting style and method acting are naturalistic rather than expressionistic.
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Presentational acting is closer to theater: it uses broad gesture and vocal delivery to communicate character in a relatively direct manner. Laura
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refers in part to the approach of the actor to her craft, but most broadly is an acting style based on observation of human behavior, with small gesture taking priority over the explicit communication of character through dialogue or body movement. Klute
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2011 for the course FILM FMA1172 taught by Professor Chriscagle during the Spring '10 term at Temple.

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Lecture7 - Week 7. Mise-en-Scne lighting, setting, acting,...

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