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Mise En Scene In Casablanca Film Essay

Mise En Scene In Casablanca Film Essay

Mise En Scene In Casablanca Film Essay


We’re reading that that mise-en-scene has two chief components: composition and design. In this assignment you’ll break down composition, looking at a frame from the Hollywood classic Casablanca. This assignment does not require that you screen Casablanca, but feel free to if you wish.

The above shot appears early in the movie. We’re about to meet Rick (Humphrey Bogart), the protagonist and owner of Rick’s American Café, the central setting of the film. But before the camera tilts up to reveal Rick’s face, it lingers on this view of him playing chess alone in his place of business. (You can see this scene play out in the first part of this clip from the movie: Link (链接到外部网站。).)

In this assignment you have three tasks. First, identify as many items (props, for instance) and other mise-en-scene elements as you can in the above still. (Note: you are not to analyze the clip linked above, only the still frame above in this prompt.) List these items and elements. Second, analyze the implicit meanings and associations of each item/element, making sure to include how the meaning would change if the item were substituted with a different but equivalent one (for instance, if Rick were eating a steak in this shot, possible substitutes include: a bowl of soup, a hamburger, etc.). Third, in a paragraph sum up your interpretation of the mise-en-scene in this composition; without even having seen the movie necessarily, what do you think its role is in introducing and beginning to develop the heroic character of Rick?

This is not an essay assignment, remember. For the first two tasks, list the items/elements and after each item put a colon, followed by the implicit meanings/associations and substitution. For the third task, I expect a paragraph in sentence form to follow your list.

Here’s an example. Let’s say instead of that champagne glass Rick had a glass of milk:

1. glass of milk: my associations of a man in a bar drinking milk are that he’s a teetotaler (doesn’t drink alcohol) and is health-conscious. Maybe he’s being coded as “square.” Substitutes: glass of beer, which might make him seem more like an “average Joe” everyman, or a shot of whiskey, which might make him seem more “rugged” and/or desperate (drinking shots alone)

I would continue listing and analyzing items from the shot above, and beneath this list I’d have a paragraph analyzing how these mise-en-scene choices help to develop the characters.

Please format your file to be double-spaced and length should be 1-3 pages.

Due: Sunday, July 5, 11:59 pm.

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