Please contact me before writer start to write this essay, I would like to show a model essay and some technical terms.
To identify aspects of sound and mise-en-scne in a short clip, to make an argument about the overall aim of the sequence, and to support your argument with extensive reference to the elements of sound and mise-en-scne.
Choose a Clip:
Choose a film from the list below. They are on 24-hour reserve at the Killam (so plan ahead). Watch the whole film and then consider the use of sound and mise-en-scne first 3-4 minutes. You can decide exactly where you want to start and stop; for example, in some films you may want to discuss the sound over title cards, but in others you may want to wait until the credits are finished. You should not discuss extradiegetic visual elements such as film credits and title cards in detail, however, as these are not part of the mise-en-scne.
Letter From an Unknown Woman (Max Ophuls, 1948): A letter is the starting point for romance and obsession. Set in early 20th century Vienna, this is a beautiful classic.
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015): In a post-apocalyptic world, a tyrants right-hand woman betrays him to engineer the escape of his wives, who are treated as baby-making machines. A breathtaking action film.
Monsieur Lazhar (Philippe Falardeau, 2012): In this Oscar nominated film, an Algerian immigrant teaches in a Montreal elementary classroom to children whose former teacher committed suicide.
Take This Waltz (Sarah Polley, 2011): A young woman is torn between her husband and an attractive neighbour in this psychologically profound drama.
Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi, 2016): Based on the true story of three African American women who contributed substantially to the Space Race despite facing racial and gender discrimination.
Bound (The Wachowskis, 1996): The Wachowskis first feature film foreshadows great things to come. This stylish crime thriller is tough, witty, and energetic.
Heathers (Michael Lehmann, 1988): In this dark teen comedy, popularity is a matter of life and death.
Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985): This adaptation of Shakespeares King Lear is a stunningly designed samurai era epic.
The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf, 1998): A realist account based on true events in Iran: two girls are kept at home for eleven years before being exposed to the world.
I, The Worst of All (Maria Luisa Bemberg, 1990): Abstract mise-en-scne creates a new, feminist take on the story of a real seventeenth century nun, scholar and writer.
Billy Elliot (Stephen Daldry, 2000): an 11-year-old boy growing up in Northern England during the 1980s coal miners strikes discovers a love of ballet.
Dil Bole Hadippa! (Anurag Singh, 2009): A young woman goes under cover to play cricket in a village where women dont get to play the sport.
The Others (Alejandro Amenbar, 2001): A psychological horror film loosely based on Henry Jamess The Turn of the Screw in which two photosensitive children are confined with their mother and a few servants in an eerie Channel Islands house.
Your analysis should be in essay form, with complete sentences and paragraphs. Your thesis statement should be your overall argument about the aims of the sequence. For example: “The opening sequence of Proof (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 1991) establishes that the central, paradoxical figure of the blind photographer is alienated from his surroundings.” The rest of your essay should support this thesis. You can go through the sequence chronologically or address different elements paragraph by paragraph. Either approach can work well; its up to you.
Your essay must clearly identify 10 different kinds of elements of sound and 10 different kinds of elements of mise-en-scne. In other words, you should not simply list 10 different props, but should address a range of design elements (acting, setting, set, make-up, costume, hair, props) and compositional strategies (symmetry and asymmetry, emphasis, etc.). You should also use 10 different sound terms. You will not have space to be detailed about every element, so you should emphasize the most meaningful and important details, and explain why they are meaningful. You are welcome to discuss elements of the film that do not qualify as sound and mise-en-scne; just make sure you give yourself space to do justice to the requirements of the assignment. Intended
Your reader is a hypothetical undergraduate student who has not seen the film. Depending on your interpretation of the scene, you may need to provide a brief plot summary or summary of the themes and message. Your reader has a strong technical vocabulary in film studies, so you can use technical terms (e.g., sound bridge) without explaining them.
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