BlueMoods

What word is Dr. Ament saying??

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I'm just starting to listen to the video lecture for today, and she said a word that sounds French, in relation to sumptuous settings or something. I also heard her use the same word in either yesterday's lecture or maybe Friday's. But it's a word I've never heard before and I can't for the life of understand what she's saying in order to google it for the definition. It sounds like "maison sent" or something like that but I doubt that's anywhere close to the actual word. Please enlighten me?

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mise en scène
ˌmēz ˌän ˈsen/
noun
 
  1. the arrangement of scenery and stage properties in a play.
    • the setting or surroundings of an event or action.
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Posted (edited)

Dr. Ament is saying, "mise en scene".  Which is a French term meaning "placing on stage".  In film it refers to everything that is in the frame - the actors and their costumes, the props, even the lighting.  If it's in the camera's frame, then it's part of the mise en scene.  Oh, look, englprof1 beat me to it with a nice dictionary type definition.  Thanks englprof1!  Oh, and Dr. Edwards too.  We were all writing responses at the same time.  Way cool.  Dr. Edwards really nailed it, but englprof1 and I didn't do too badly.

Edited by GeezerNoir
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The word is "mise-en-scene," and it is literally translated along the lines of "to put or place into the scene." When talking about the mise-en-scene of a film, a person will be describing the design of the shot or the set. The mise-en-scene covers the actors and the set, and everything you basically see in the shot: the costumes, the makeups, the decor, the prop. So if someone says a film has a sumptuous mise-en-scene you are probably seeing on screen a beautiful and detailed set with great costumes and consummate production design.

Hope this helps.

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On 6/12/2018 at 12:00 PM, BlueMoods said:

I'm just starting to listen to the video lecture for today, and she said a word that sounds French, in relation to sumptuous settings or something. I also heard her use the same word in either yesterday's lecture or maybe Friday's. But it's a word I've never heard before and I can't for the life of understand what she's saying in order to google it for the definition. It sounds like "maison sent" or something like that but I doubt that's anywhere close to the actual word. Please enlighten me?

I'm glad  you asked the question.  Sometimes it's taken for granted that we have the same frame of reference and understand what they are talking about when in reality we haven't a clue.  I confess I had no idea what "Foley" was and had to look it up because the word was used in a lecture (or discussion, I don't remember which) before the term was actually explained in a subsequent module. 

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One more reason for transcripts or captioning of the videos and for transcripts for the podcasts. 

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I've read so many books on movie makers that I was familiar with the term - thanks for all your descriptions that fully explain the exact boundaries of that term!  Love it! 

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I had always understood this term, mise-en-scene, to be tied to symbolism.  Like how the literal set, costumes, etc., can reinforce themes or motifs, for example, the emotional state of the characters or the scene itself.  An off-the-cuff example could be Cyd Charisse's green costume in Singing in the Rain could symbolize the jealousy Gene Kelly's character feels about her with regard to the coin-flipping gangster.  Literally "green with envy" type of thing.  I've always used this term with a connotation of symbolism, perhaps I've been wrong? 

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8 hours ago, & i said:

I had always understood this term, mise-en-scene, to be tied to symbolism.  Like how the literal set, costumes, etc., can reinforce themes or motifs, for example, the emotional state of the characters or the scene itself.  An off-the-cuff example could be Cyd Charisse's green costume in Singing in the Rain could symbolize the jealousy Gene Kelly's character feels about her with regard to the coin-flipping gangster.  Literally "green with envy" type of thing.  I've always used this term with a connotation of symbolism, perhaps I've been wrong? 

Mise-en-scene is not tied to symbolism, but mise-en-scene can be designed to deliver symbolic meanings in a film.

The mise-en-scene is simply the literal "things" that are put and arranged in front of a film camera. Any element of the mise-en-scene (from the decor to the makeup) can be "elevated" to mean something more than its literal meaning.

A staircase might just be a staircase, or it might be used by the storytellers to convey the idea that the character on screen is "descending into the underworld" to give one example.

But there is nothing necessarily symbolic about a mise-en-scene in and of itself.

For symbolism to occur, there needs to be some form of additional signification (usually signs that have broad cultural understanding such as religious symbols). Additional meanings in a mise-en-scene can also come out of the world of metaphor and similes, such as the use of color that is reinforced by the scene's overall context to mean more than just the literal color as your example of the "green/envy" dress. Finally, objects themselves can be become motifs in their own rights if the storytellers use an object and imbue it with meaning inside the film's own storyworld. Rosebud, in CITIZEN KANE, for example. 

Hope this helps!

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Similarly, mies-en-place is a term often used in cooking, which refers to the organization of all of the recipe's ingredients before a chef commences the cooking process. I watch a lot of Food Network programming.

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If you got a chance to see Phantom Thread last year, then I think that is an incredible contemporary example of mise-en-scene. For contemporary directors who, like Vincent Minelli, have a great touch with mis-en-scene, I would suggest Martin Scorsese, Sofia Coppola, Francis Ford, Coppola, Wes Anderson, Stanley Kubrick (can't take him off the contemporary list yet), The Cohen Brothers, Sam Mendes, Anthony Minghella, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, David Fincher, Denis Villeneuve, and I think Tod Haynes. Others there are that I can't list because the list would be overlong indeed. 

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On June 20, 2018 at 10:30 AM, Dr. Rich Edwards said:

Mise-en-scene is not tied to symbolism, but mise-en-scene can be designed to deliver symbolic meanings in a film.

The mise-en-scene is simply the literal "things" that are put and arranged in front of a film camera. Any element of the mise-en-scene (from the decor to the makeup) can be "elevated" to mean something more than its literal meaning.

A staircase might just be a staircase, or it might be used by the storytellers to convey the idea that the character on screen is "descending into the underworld" to give one example.

But there is nothing necessarily symbolic about a mise-en-scene in and of itself.

For symbolism to occur, there needs to be some form of additional signification (usually signs that have broad cultural understanding such as religious symbols). Additional meanings in a mise-en-scene can also come out of the world of metaphor and similes, such as the use of color that is reinforced by the scene's overall context to mean more than just the literal color as your example of the "green/envy" dress. Finally, objects themselves can be become motifs in their own rights if the storytellers use an object and imbue it with meaning inside the film's own storyworld. Rosebud, in CITIZEN KANE, for example. 

Hope this helps!

Thanks so much. This is MASSIVELY helpful!  I think I first heart this term regarding Jet Li in Hero.  Must have been "the symbolism in the mise-en-scene" and I've conflated those terms ever since. Really appreciate the clarification.  

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