Supplemental material

Mise-en-scene references

This set of slides breaks mis-en-scene (m-e-s) into fifteen points. Note that some of these points - such as "shot and camera proxemics" and "lens/filter/stock" - are more commonly associated with analysis of the shot as a separate from m-e-s. In this course, these elements are treated as distinct but related to m-e-s: how the camera is used and outfitted necessarily affects how we see and experience what's in the frame.

This page at College Film & Media Studies provides a more streamlined perspective on the analysis of m-e-s. Two key points that are distinct from the resource in the first link are the inclusion of "setting" and "costume" and also "performance style." 

Chapter 3 in Spadoni, which we will discuss in week 3, takes a view closer to College Film & Media Studies than the view presented in the slides from the first link. The overarching theme in Spadoni is "stylization," or how filmmakers use the visual elements in the frame to create a distinct sense of space and place in a film.

Auteur theory

In class, I mentioned "auteur theory" as an important moment in the development of film studies and also that the structure of this course, around the works of three directors, is an example of the influence of that theory.

  • Here you can read an overview of the history of auteur theory in the United States.
  • This (pdf) is film critic Andrew Sarris' influential account of the theory, and here is a reflection on his influence following his death in 2012.
  • Finally, you can watch a video discussion of auteur theory by University of Nebraska Lincoln professor, Wheeler Winston Dixon.

These resources are also collected on the course Storify page


Supplemental material: on pacing

I've added a link to the excerpt from Goodfellas (1991) we watched in class this week, as well as a link to a compilation of long takes from Children of Men (2007) and a discussion of David Bordwell's analysis of Average Shot Length (ASL) in films over time.

Go to the supplemental timeline.

Wong Kar Wai on Netflix

There are a number of Wong Kar Wai films streaming on Netflix right now. In addition to In the Mood for Love, next week's film, you can also view: Fallen Angels (1995), Happy Together (1997), As Tears Go By (1988), and Days of Being Wild (1990). Each of these films is covered in Brunette. I considered both Fallen Angels and Days of Being Wild for this course. All films are worthwhile, especially if you are intrigued by Wong Kar Wai's style of filmmaking.