Mise en scène encompasses the most recognizable attributes of a film – the setting and the actors; it includes costumes and make-up, props, and all the other natural and artificial details that characterize the spaces filmed.  The term is borrowed from a French theatrical expression, meaning roughly “put into the scene”.  In other words, mise-en-scène describes the stuff in the frame and the way it is shown and arranged.

Have a look at each of the scenes below.  What has been ‘put in the frame’ in each one, in order to help explain the narrative?

Answers in comments, as always;


17 thoughts on “MISE-EN-SCENE

  1. In the first image, there is a lot of different characters and props in various positions, dressed as though they are representing people from the ancient times when lots of rich white people used to own black people as slaves.

    The second image is showing wealthy people dressed in an old fashioned way, placed in one room surrounded by expensive, old fashioned furniture. I have noticed that the men are standing and the women are sitting down.

    In the third image, a class of bored looking students are sitting down at their tables looking at the teacher. The classroom consists of posters, one of Shakespeare, so I’m assuming the class is studying English.

    And in the last image I can see a white man and a black man playing a game together. I am considering that they come from a similar working background because I see that they are wearing similar clothing. Also, the environment around them looks dirty and unorganised, fitting in quite well with their scruffy appearance.

  2. The first picture seems to represent a wealthy oriental society. The setting shows noble palaces and big statues and palaces in the background as well. You can also see a group of black slaves in the backgrounds, which indicates that the picture is from a long time ago. In opposition to the slaves, there are also people which are clothed wealthy and look quite arrogant, they are probably the people who own the slaves.

    The second picture is tooken in a hall which is designed with posh looking furniture. The people in the picture are dressed really elegant in expensive looking clothes and hats. Two woman are sitting each on an own bank and the other woman are sitting all together on the opposite side, so it seems like they are the visitors. There are also men standing in the back but they don’t seem to be involved in the conversation. Through the big window you can see nature.

    In the next picture you can see a classroom where a lesson takes place. The students all look really annoyed and bored and the teacher seems to say something to the students in the back which don’t look really happy either. Because they wear school uniform I think that it is a class of British secondary students. Apparently they are reading a book in that class because they all have a book and their notebooks on their desks. The classroom looks like a usual classroom with plants, posters and shelves on the desk.

    The fourth picture shows two men sitting on wooden benches playing a game together. Both of them wear the same working gear, so they probably work at the same place, which seems to be something with physical work, because the gear is quite casual and a bit shabby. In the background you can see a fence and a group of people, most of them with the same outfit as the men in the foreground. The area around them seems to be a desolately and poor district.

  3. In the first picture, which one is principally white, the scene take place outside near stairs, we can see a lot of characters, with very different clothes, with different ethnicity and each ethnicities have a part of the painting. We can understand that the white peoples are the rich peoples and the black the slaves that to this details.
    In the second image, there is a women who is sitting on a sofa, this woman are wearing very nicely. We can see that, there are men behind her . We can say that this picture represent the 17th century and that the characters are rich thanks to their clothes and the suite.
    In the third image, which one is a picture of a classroom we see that all the students look the teacher and look like students who are listening the teacher. There is only a girl in the foreground who doesn’t look the teacher but she look like somebody who is thinking. Maybe they are in English lesson cause we can see a picture of Shakespeare on the wall.
    In the last picture we can see two men playing a game together. This 2 men are physically different, one is white the other one black and one look younger than the other one. The only common point is that they wear the same clothes, maybe it’s because they have the same work. At the background we can see also some others men who wear the same poor clothes.

  4. In this picture it shows women bring treated like slaves and worshipers. This is because in the picture is shows the women working to try impress the men around them. They might have done this to show the old days of domestic labour. This is where the women looked after the men. It’s also relates to racism, sexism and disability. This Is because they shows things types people in each section of the picture.
    This picture is shows a wealthy family/ people because of the clothing and the item surrounding them. You can tell in this scene is from the olden times because of what the women are wearing, bagging dresses and the furniture used. This may because they want to show how the upper class live in a neat and tidy environment.
    In this picture with all the signs and pictures in the background it may indicate a classroom with its educational knowledge as well as with the people wearing school uniform sitting down. With having the teacher, having his back turned it might be interrupting to show it from his point of view because you just mainly see the children’s facial expressions.
    With this picture is shows two men having a man to man conversation. With things men they have different representation but are placed in the same area. This scene might have been taken 1980’s because of the game that is placed between the two characters. ‘Checkers’. They might have done this because of the two colours of the checkers and the two different colours between the characters so they done this to show representation of characters.

  5. On the first picture, the scene seems to be in China because the buildings and the statues are in a Chinese style. And that’s all what characterises the place. The picture has lots of “little scenes”, the people who interact together are grouped. The people in the centre of the picture are mostly dressed in white. Then, there’s a group of Black peoples on the left. Then a group dressed in red in left superior corner. The people are from everywhere: Africa, Europe, India… Nearly all the character have a social posture. All the people in the centre are using golf material.

    In the second picture, the room is gold and there is sun coming from the window which in centered and take nearly all the background. This scene is really organized: there is the woman who is probably the most important one in the middle. She’s surrounded by two men aligned with the window. Then, there is, on one side, a single woman (probably important too because we can see her face) and on the other side, a range of four women (probably less important because we can’t see their face) also aligned with the window. The people are dressed in an old style. There also an amazing flower bouquet in the centre of the window.

    The third picture is showing a class room. The teacher is standing on the left, dressed with a grey suit. We only see his back. Then, there is all the students sitting at their desk on the right.They are all wearing navy blue uniforms. They are all looking at the teacher except one girl at the front ( she’s probably an important character ).

    The fourth picture is staring two workers: one White and one Black. They are playing a game and looking at each other. They are dressed with their dirty working clothes: large jeans and grey shirt.
    They are sitting on a bench. At the background, we can see other workers in break and the buildings of their workplace.

  6. the first picture seems to be in a middle east country and the place seems to represent somewhere e.g, china or elsewhere due to the palace/temple esque setting.

    the second picture is clearly from the old England, such as the Elizabethan era and the people are dressed quite regally so quite possibly represent nobility/royalty the clothing they are wearing is the most significant contributor to the miss én scene.

    the third one is from a school setting and we can tell this because of the desk layout and the clothing the pupils are wearing and also the relaxed stance the perceived ‘leader’ is standing in and his formal clothing sets him apart from the rest of the people in the setting.

    the last is a prison setting and we can tell because of the jail yard setting and also the clothing which all of the ‘inmates’ are wearing and it helps to set up the scene as it creates a good setting for the film.

  7. In the first picture I can see people of different ethnicities in front of stairs and two temples. I suppose on the picture the white people are the rich people and the black people slaves. There are also some people in oriental clothes.

    The second picture shows some rich people in a palace or a castle. There are flowers in the background and two chandeliers. There’s a woman sitting on a bench with her dog next to her. Two man are standing behind her, while some women are sitting in dresses on a bench looking at the women. They all look really posh.

    The third picture shows a school class. There’s a girl at the front and behind her some boys listening to the teacher or doing other things. They are all wearing a school uniform. On the wall at the back there are some pictures of famous people.

    On the third picture I can see a white man and a black man who are playing a board game, smiling at each other. They are sitting on a bench and a table. They are dressed in jeans and similar shirts, like the other men in the background. It doesn’t look as if they have a lot of money.

  8. The first picture features several people in an array of poses and clothes. There is a clear binary opposition between the rich and the poor; the rich are relaxed and enjoying a variety of luxuries, whilst the poor, seen in the background, are limited to a small area. Through the arrangement of how the different classes, it clear that the mise en scené is trying to portray the social division.

    The second picture shows upper class people gathered in a living room. Through the setting and clothes, a strong sense of wealth is portrayed. The characters and furniture are positioned so that the main focus is on the woman in the white and green. There is a clear division between the men and the women, and then a further division between the women. The men are standing, with their body language conveying a sense of authority, whilst the women are all sitting. There is a division between the two women on the left and the women sat together on the right, implying a sense of tension, or simply that the women together are visitors.

    The third picture is set in a classroom, which is clear as the iconography portrays this; the posters on the wall, the books and desks all help portray that it is set in a classroom. The teacher is standing to the side of the students and is the main focus of the picture. The teacher has authority over the students and it is clear that something that the teacher is saying has captured the students’ attention as most of them are looking at him.

    The last picture is a set at what looks like a prison. This is portrayed through the clothes and the background. Two men are playing checkers on a bench, with the man on the right at a higher position than the man on the left, implying that he is wiser and is slightly more superior to the other man.

  9. The first picture features a wide variety of ethnic groups in a far east-like setting. The setting feature many stereotypes of Asian culture like wearing robes, temples and those weird lion sculpture thingies.

    The second picture shows upper class, as determined by their choice of attire, gathered in a living room of sorts. The living room is in pristine condition and the use of colour means that the viewer should focus on the woman in green, as she is both in a brighter coloured dress and is almost at the centre of the scene. The men and women seem to be engaged in conversation.

    The third picture is set in an English classroom, judging by the picture of Shakespeare in the background. The students are wearing a uniform commonly associated with the UK. The teacher looks to be addressing a student.

    The fourth picture is from the film, the Shawshank Redemption. The two characters are in a prison setting. It’s clear that one is black and one is white. This suggests a union of sorts. Both men are happy, suggesting that they’ve overcome some sort of barrier, perhaps social?

  10. The first picture shows a lot from its iconography; the architecture, dress sense and scarcity of clothing and the statues connote an Asian origin. The abundance of ethnicity shows a diverse cultural interaction between the groups however those that are of black ethnicity are not wearing white which could connote the are still social barriers.
    The second picture’s mise-en-scene shows a Victorian or Tudor setting. For example, the long dresses, black petticoats and floral related furniture connote wealth and were commonplace around this era. The additional fact all faces seen within the picture are looking towards the four women in bonnets connotes an almost accusational or confronting situation.
    The third picture is clearly a British school. For example, there is a picture of William Shakespeare, a British writer. Moreover, the uniform on the students shows they are in a school as a tie, white-collared shirt and blazer is commonplace in British schools. Finally, the balding man facing away is likely to be a teacher as his posture and clothing connote superiority in this classroom setting.
    The fourth picture connotes a prison setting. The fact that all of the men within the picture are confined within a metal fence connotes that they are trapped or confined. The cap and baggy overalls connotes prison attire while muddy ground connotes scarcity and loss of life- which could connote how the men in the prison feel.

  11. In the first picture, it shows a culturally diverse environment, I know this because of the different races of people in the picture and also the Chinese guardian lions at the top of the screen, it could show the coming together of races, all of the races living in harmony.
    the second shows a group of women and two men in an older era, they are clearly of a high class because of their clothing and their setting, it tells me that they are of importance, especially the woman in the green dress because she is sitting on her own and she is there to stand out and attract more attention.
    the third picture shows a classroom with a gloomy light, this light reflects the emotion that the students are currently feeling, the face that the female student at the front bears also reinforces this, it could also represent neglect because all of the other student are looking at the teacher while she isn’t which may be because he is standing behind her.
    in the fourth picture I believe that it was a picture taken during the apartheid, but this picture shows a black man and a white man talking to each other, even playing a board game, they seem to be having fun in the somewhat sad environment that they are in.

  12. The first image appears to have an oriental theme with the red support beams and the typical Asian theatre style building on the left. Also there is a mixture of different characters in the picture. It appears to be a stereotypical portrayal as in the left there is an Asian woman who appears to be treating a white man to a massage and portrayals of ethnic characters are seen dotted around the image. At first it looks like they are all clumped together but it appears to be portrayals of people of importance as the men appear to be dressed in uniform and are close to armed guards. The women in this scene all appear to be standing and at the front there is a child in the centre who seems to be important as the women appear to be trying to protect her
    The second image has an old Victorian or Edwardian image to it and looks like its placed inside a large Victorian Manor and the characters are dressed accordingly. The women are all sitting down which is either because at the time they were seen as people of lesser important and were probably told to sit down in the presence of men or this is a scene from pride and prejudice and the characters are being introduced to each other for the first time
    The third image is set in an English classroom as the Shakespeare portrait is quite prominent and is a compulsory part of English education. Also the student is looking straight up at the teacher and has both hands placed on the desk. This is a similar state of posture that people who are either guilty or being interrogated adopt and the teacher has his hands placed in his pockets and is standing quite tall. This suggest he is either disappointed with the student who has made a mistake or done something out of character. The student at the front of the image is faced forward and is looking around which either means she is listening or knows something about the issue the first student is trouble for as she looks quite guilty as well. The other students are all facing the teacher which means they are listening and have something they want to find out or he has seen the student doing something like playing on his phone whilst he is teaching and has gone to stand next to him whilst he lectures the rest of class
    The fourth image is quite obviously taking place inside a prison and has Morgan Freeman talking to Tim Robbins. This image is taken from the Shawshank Redemption and is a portrayal of two prisoners befriending each other. Both of them are making eye contact with each other and are smiling which is strange behaviour for prisoners who are facing sentences. Especially as Tim’s character Andy is facing two life sentences.

  13. in the first picture I can see different cultural backgrounds there and it looks like a type of celebration is going on because I can see two white women wearing bikinis also can see Asian women massaging or treating somebody which could be stereotypical also see people laidback which fits in with he party type of theme. In the second picture I can see a type of seriousness in the room as the man is standing up with his hands behind his back and standing up straight mean while he is watching 3 people sitting down. I also can see two women with them sitting down with there hands on their lap. In the third picture I can also see some type of seriousness as I can see the girl writing with her pencil meanwhile the teacher is standing up with his hands in his pocket I know he is teacher because he is wearing a suit whereas the other students are wearing school uniform also the students are looking at him and it seems they are listening .In the fourth picture I can see two friends one white and one black talking and playing games I know this because I can see the board game on the bench this will seem like black and white people are unified .

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