book Mise en Scene


"... many of out most sharply etched memories of the cinema turn out to be mise en scene."

"meaning putting into the scene" literally

"...and it was first applied to the practice of directing plays."

p. 118

"the term to signify the director's control over what appears in the film frame."

"the director stages the event for the camera."

p. 118

"This technique has the power to transcend normal conceptions of reality"

p. 119

Serendipity at the Place de l'Opera, c. 1895.

"the moving bus seemed to transform instantly into a hearse."

p. 119-120

"Melié's recognition of the power of mise-en-scene."

"In these and other scenes, the recurrent use of orange creates a cluster of nature motifs within the narrative."

"...elements of setting can weave through a film to create motifs."

p. 124

Aspects of the control of the frame:


Costume and make-up






Bordwell's blog

"…but in any shot they mesh." together

"Screen space:


"a film shot resembles a painting. It presents a flat array of colors and shapes."

p. 148

"Before we even start to read the image as three dimensional space, mise-en-scene offers many cues for guiding our attention and emphasizing elements in the frame."


"Scene space" is often filled with "depth cues."

"We find it easier to see the edges and masses on the screen as a three dimensional space, like the one we live in. The elements of the image that create this impression are called depth cues."

Such cues "suggest that a space has both volume and several distinct planes

p. 151.

"Because of the eyes sensitivity to differences, even quite muted color contrasts can suggest three dimensional space."

"In cinema, movement is one of the most important depth cues, since it strongly suggests both planes and volumes."


"size diminution" "This reinforces our sense of there being a deep space with considerable distances between the various planes."

"The same illustration dramatically displays linear perspective.... We can simply note that a strong impression of depth emerges when parallel lines converge at a distant vanishing point."

 p. 153.

"space and time "to attract our attention through the process of watching the film and create suspense or surprise."

p. 163.

scale and form of films

"one element fulfills several functions."


Defining film | Narrative elements in film | Film structure | Documentary films


Is film more like, but not a substitute for, ecological life?

How then, is film a simulacrum of an ecological system?


bok David Bordwell & Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction.

New York: McGraw Hill, 2010. 9th Edition.