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Mise-en-Scene: Film Style and Interpretation (Short Cuts) [Paperback]

John Gibbs

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Synopsis

Explores the fundamental concepts of composition, framing, costume and set design in cinema. In uncovering the history of mise-en-scene within academic film studies and popular film criticism, John Gibbs offers a full introduction to this central component of film analysis and provides detailed readings of such films as Rebel Without a Cuase, Imitation of Life and Lone Star. Explores the fundamental concepts of composition, framing, costume and set design in cinema. In uncovering the history of mise-en-scene within academic film studies and popular film criticism, John Gibbs offers a full introduction to this central component of film analysis and provides detailed readings of such films as Rebel Without a Cuase, Imitation of Life and Lone Star. It provides a review of the historical significance of mise-en-scene and its role in the critical discovery of Hollywood cinema. In inviting viewers and critics to consider the importance of a sensitive approach to film style, the book provides a useful tool for the critical understanding of interpretative methodologies in film reading and the expression of visual style.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's in a frame? 6 May 2002
By John P. Garry III - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The tenth volume of the Short Cuts series from Wallflower Press is the most narrowly focused and the most modest in intention. John Gibbs claims his task is "...less about saying something new, and more of bringing together in the same place, some of the ways in which mise-en-scene criticism has been brought about and put to use." Gibbs succeeds, offering a good introduction to practical mise-en-scene analysis and a detailed, even affectionate, history of mise-en-scene criticism. The major topics are definitions of mise-en-scene elements ("the contents of the frame and the way they are organized"), how these elements interact to create meaning, the history of Anglo-American mise-en-scene criticism and its relationship to the auteur theory, and the distinctive role of mise-en-scene in film melodrama. Gibbs focuses mostly on directors celebrated in the early days of auteurism--Renoir, Ford, Ray, Sirk, Minnelli, Hitchcock, Ophuls. You can imagine an undergrad raised on high tech blockbusters getting a bit restless. The most important insight for the seasoned reader is how mise-en-scene analysis, as a preferred method of the auteur critics, elevated the role of director and in turn raised the status of narrative film from shallow escapism to profound artform.
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