Wednesday, March 18, 2009


"It works profoundly and economically because Hitchcock makes a convincing visual case for a claustrophobic world of fear and psychosis communicated not merely through action but through the visual construction of that world."

Mise-en-scène: Film Style and Interpretation by John Gibbs explores and elucidates constructions of this fundamental concept in thinking about film. In uncovering the history of mise-en-scène within film criticism, and through the detailed exploration of scenes from films as Imitation of Life and Lone Star, John Gibbs makes the case for the importance of a sensitive understanding of film style, and provides an introduction to the skills of close reading. This book thus celebrates film-making as well as film criticism that is alive to the creative possibilities of visual style. 

Setting up shots in the real world with incident lighting means I don't always have control over every element in my images, but I have been making a more marked effort to consider all of the elements that I have to work with. For example, the windows in the background of the Floyd shoot last semester went under my radar, but communicated a very specific meaning to someone else looking at the images. Additionally I am considering more carefully the palate I have been using and will continue to seek out so that I can vary my formula a bit more while maintaining a coherent feeling for the series.

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