Fifth Element

First thematic essay: supplemental images

One of the requirements of the first essay is to include a close reading of one of the 5/45/85 frame grabs from the initial set of films or of an alternative, which you can select yourself or may be suggested by me. I have chosen the following images from The Fifth Element and 2046:

From The Fifth Element:


(at 38:36).

From 2046:


(at 8:09).


(at 78:53).

Preview for THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997)

While watching The Fifth Element, focus broadly on the mise-en-scene (m-e-s) and how the filmmakers use elements of the m-e-s to construct their vision of the future.

  • What elements of the m-e-s would you point to as being "futuristic"? If so, what are they? Where in the film do you notice these elements?
  • Can you find recurring elements? Particular uses of light, or arrangements of people or objects, for example?
  • Are there individual shots or scenes that seem to distill or concentrate how the future looks in the film? What are the primary elements of the m-e-s that signify the filmmakers' ideas?
  • Are there aspects of the m-e-s that seem more like design details than ones that are material within the narrative? On the other side, are there aspects that seem crucial to the narrative?
  • What does The Fifth Element  borrow from Metropolis? What does the film have in common, visually, with the other films we have watched in this section of the term?