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Choose a Film or Television Programme and Discuss How Its Mise-En-Scгёne and Cinematography Operate to Create Meaning for the Audience.How Does the Visual Style Contribute to the Textвђ™s Overall Appeals and Meanings?

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Join now to read essay Choose a Film or Television Programme and Discuss How Its Mise-En-Scгёne and Cinematography Operate to Create Meaning for the Audience.How Does the Visual Style Contribute to the Textвђ™s Overall Appeals and Meanings?

Mise-en-scene was first used by early French critics and translates loosely into “setting in scene”. By which it means everything that appears in front of the camera and thus everything the audience will eventually see. Beyond this, the mise en scene plays the role of creating the environment in which the film’s world is set in. While making a believable world, production designers can manipulate aspects of mise en scene to create focus, contrast or mood. I will look at the film Hero (“Ying Xiong” 2002, Yimou Zhang) to highlight how mise-en-scene can be manipulated for different effects.

Hero is an extremely visual film, with a reliance on several aspects within mise-en-scene to help portray plot and themes. One area which is fully utilised is colour. One can see that the film is broken down into several scenes all of which based around a single colour or hue. The purpose of which is not only to provide an aesthetic appeal but also to convey emotions and themes. For example an early scene is saturated in an intensely red hue. This fits the plot at the time, with impassioned characters fighting off an oncoming army. The nature of the film means that each scene is a recollection and therefore it can be interpreted that the director and production designer have use the red hue to suggest that the red scene is looked back by the protagonist with a certain “warmness”. The different colours can also be said to tackling differences between people’s interpretations and viewpoints. Although the action is exciting the director acknowledges that audience will respond to colour in different ways and as a result can influence our reaction to what is portrayed on screen.

If we were to compare the use of colour in Hero to that of the 1974 film The Conversation one could see a considerable difference. In The Conversation, the colours are unsaturated, resulting in a dull palette of greys, blues and greens, which corresponds to the blandness of the business world. In contrast colour in Hero is deeply saturated creating excitement and intensity. Even the blue scene is fairly saturated despite the sombre feeling it creates.

The films setting is that of ancient China and thus props within the scene all add up to create the illusion on the ancient setting. Given the setting of ancient China there is a heavy emphasis on landscape and nature rather than architecture. These open settings create, to some extent, a sense of freedom which contrasts to the cramped feeling achieved in The Conversation. A common part of the set design is drapery, saturated in the hue of the scene. They create a sense of flow and freedom even within the constraints of indoors. They often represent a sense of ambiguity with characters using the drapes to conceal themselves. Therefore, as Pramaggiore and Wallis (2005) suggest, props can hint at wider themes and changes. Props such as weaponry although seemingly insignificant have subtle uses. For example, no to characters have the same sword, and differences between swords can show differences between the characters that wield them.

Costume has a similar effect as part of mise-en-scene. In hero, the viewer sees the protagonist (nameless) work his way through a number of costumes. In terms of the audience’s perception, costume can elude to the characters job, status or behaviour. Looking at the protagonist at the beginning of Hero the audience identifies his rank as a county sheriff given his official looking costume. The blackness of the protagonists costume also hints at the sinister. However when he then changes into loose garments for the majority of the film, the audience understands that at some point there was a change in character, forced or otherwise.

Consistent with the naturalistic setting is the use of lighting. The director, Yimou Zhang, makes use of available light whenever possible often waiting several days even weeks for the right light. He knows that the lighting can have a clear impact on how we perceive objects or people. So rather than filming in harsh, artificial light, the director will wait for morning light to shine through onto an actresses face and create a naturally beautiful face.

As Pramaggiore and Wallis (2005) suggest, character placement can influence meanings within the film. For example relationship of power is portrayed to the audience at the beginning of the film via character placement. The protagonist (nameless) seeks to meet with the emperor, when he does the emperor is shown to be literally above him,

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