Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mise en Scene: Blog, You Sucker aka A Fistful of Screen Culture

(Note: An edited version of this post was previously submitted for my AFTRS Screen Culture course, Mise en scene Task, October 2010)

Sergio Leone is one of the most distinct filmmakers in the history of the medium. A significant element that led to his distinct style or auteur signature is his use of Mise en scene. There is little to a 'Leone' film that is not immediately identifiable as such, and the only films that challenge this identification are made by directors who were significantly influenced by the Italian born director. From blocking and shot selection, to music beats and performance, a Leone film is a true experience.

Mise en scene in full force

The element I feel that is crucial to a Leone production, is something many people may not first think of, and that is blocking or staging. A production design area often lost on filmmakers of today, and something they can never touch on with regards to classical films. These days sets are rarely built in full for a scene's staging to be laid out, they are manufactured in pieces and the sense of space and environment is never established. Leone was the exact opposite. He knew the exact amount of paces and time it would take a character to walk from one side of the room to the other.