The role of mise en scène in understanding The Godfather

 The role of mise en scène in understanding The Godfather
According to the screenwriters, the lasting effect of The Godfather describes the state of America by having a vision filled with an understanding of the fundamental contradictions inherent in all human beings. Therefore, the screenwriters deliver a theme of madness, glory, and failure of the American dream, by exploring the dream in an Italian-American term, hence, succeeding in providing a view of the relationship between the Italian and the American culture. In filmmaking, images encompass the same preoccupation with effect and expression. Mise-en-scene, also known as the frame, creates an illusion of a three-dimensional figure into two dimensions. In the frame, the outline of the rectangle refers to the frame, whereas; the space inside the frame is the screen. The term was coined from a French theatrical expression that refers to “placing in the stage” (Anderson, 2001).

In-depth analysis of the technique as it appears in the film
The Godfather film was shot in a 35mm full-frame that translates to a ration of 4:3. The film is cropped down to fit widescreen theatres at an approximated 1.85:1, as planned appropriately. The scenes of the film have been composed to work well on both screens. The TV version of The Godfather has still been what the director, Willis, shot. The version of the theatre is an image of low quality since it is blown up from a 35 mm image. This has enabled The Godfather to be watched in full TV size. The elements of this film technique encompass the most decipherable attributes of the film. It helps in the setting of the film and includes other elements, such as costumes, props, make-ups, and all film elements that characterized the spaced scene (Carter, 2007). Putting on stage describes the components of the frame and how they are arranged and shown. These include the elements of setting, lighting, staging, and costume.

The historical development of mise-en-scene
The elements of Mise-en-scene are employed in film studies to discuss the visual style. It encompasses the contents of the frame, including lighting, actors, setting, costumes, and properties (Carter, 2007). The organization of the frame’s contents embodies the relationship of the actors to the audience’s view. Early uses of Mise-en-scene to more contemporary ones indicate that the historical and current trends on the aspect ratio started in 1890-1930, described as the silent era or the experimental stage with no standard aspect ratio. Later, there was the Hollywood Studio Era, or the standard ratio= 1.33:1 like the TV’s before the widescreen TV during the 1930s to the 1950s. After the 1950s, formats of widescreen were introduced with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 2.35:1. In the modern era, between 1960 and 2008, some films were filmed in a 1:661 aspect ratio, allowing films to be screened in 1:331 or 1:85:1 but with limited distortion. However, historically, the aspect ratios are still standard by period, but with technological advancements, there are large, flat-screen television screens. The meaning of mise-en-scene suggests the control of visual elements in the film image. Thus, the elements of mise-en-scène, such as setting, costume, and lighting, as well as the movement of the images, are four aspects that overlap the physical art of the theatre. Thus, controlling these elements provides the film director with an opportunity to stage the events. However, in Mise-en-scene, the most important aspect is the frame. Whereas, the most fundamental factor to consider in the frame is the aspect ratio (Carter, 2007).

The relationship of Mise-en-scene and other techniques used in filmmaking
The mise-en-scene technique relates to other elements in cinematography. For instance, the setting forms an important visual element in the film. In encompasses, all the things viewed that inform time, as well as a place apart from the costume. The setting is an aspect of mise-en-scene, and it plays a very crucial role in the film (Gibbs, 2007). The setting describes the place where the drama takes place. Moreover, its significance is beyond that by enabling the director to control various aspects of artistically. A method of setting control depends on the used natural or artificial locale. The ability of the setting to add meaning to the story means that the props also form part of the control by the film director. Thus, setting orients viewers to contribute a dramatic impact and adds meaning to the film’s story. Selecting and arranging elements of setting provide the director with powerful control of the artistic work, thus, staging the film, the director exhibits craft and creativity as he employs this aspect of Mise-en-scene. 

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