Week 3

Topics for M 10/21

Here are some topics for our discussion of Goodfellas on M. Feel free to start the conversation in comments or to suggest additional points for discussion.

  • The characters as demonstrations of marginality and marginalization as contingent and relative depending on context and the kinds of relationships someone has with other people.
  • The use of sound in the movie and how it affects our interpretation of m-e-s, especially the voiceovers and music choices.
  • The use of freeze frames.
  • The camera as a "character" in the film.
  • Violence as part of m-e-s.
  • M-e-s and "the life."

Questions and topics for M 10/14

Here are points of discussion about Children of Men for M. Feel free to make additional suggestions or to start the conversation here.

  • Uses of color and light.
  • Use of multiple aspects of mise-en-scène to build the world of the film.
  • The significance of animals, and, the attraction of animals to Theo.
  • How the film shows different kinds of marginalization, e.g., marginalization from how a character is identified by others versus characters who are marginalized by choice, such as from their politics.

Children of Men: On The Margins

Which characters or places in Children of Men signified marginality or marginalization? Which characters particularly represented the complexities of marginalization as discussed in class on W and in the reading (go to Moodle)? How do the filmmakers use mise-en-scène to show who is centered and who is marginalized in he storyworld of the film?


The Long Take

One of the hallmarks of both this past week's film, Children of Men, and this coming week's film, Goodfellas, is the use of the "long take," or the use of a shot or shots of longer duration than the norm. Did you notice this while watching either film? What was the effect? This article provides additional examples and critical commentary on the use of this device. What do you think? How does this device affect your experience of mise-en-scène?


Notes for re-watch of Vertigo

Here are topics I have distilled from my notes and from your Post-Film Writing:

Directly related to the representation of time, space and memory:

  • Camera movement
  • Objects (props)
  • People (costume [hair & makeup] action & performance)
  • Places (setting, decor)
  • Framing (space, staging)
  • Color (dreams & memory)
  • Editing (connections between images)

But also:

  • Sound (music) & m-e-s
  • Light and shadow
  • Shot length