Scene Analysis: Mise-en-scène and Cinematography

Develop an interpretive claim about one or two aspects of mise-en-scène and/or cinematography and the ways they create meaning or spectatorial effect. To do so, it is highly recommended that you watch the entire film again, Clip” from Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (Murnau, 1927), on reserve at the IVC Library and currently available on YouTube, to help you situate the scene in relation to the film as a whole. When coming up with your interpretive claim, you may find it helpful to consider the following (but please note that your scene analysis should not try to answer all these questions):
· What is the meaning or function of the scene in relation to the narrative of the whole film?
· What aspects of mise-en-scène or cinematography are most important in creating the meaning of this scene? Which shots in this scene are the most significant?
· Are there significant repeated elements or patterns in the shots that comprise the scene? These could include aspects of mise-en-scène as well as cinematographic formal elements. How do these devices relate to the rest of the film? Consider both broader motifs and character/narrative development as well as aspects of audience identification and the emotional response of the viewer.

3) Use a thesis and support structure. Your interpretive claim is your thesis: X elements in the scene create Y effect/meaning. Support this claim with specific and detailed formal evidence, so that each part of your essay relates back to the thesis statement, resulting in a coherent argument. Typically, a successful scene analysis includes:
· A very brief but descriptive plot summary that situates the scene in relation to the film as a whole, and leads into the thesis/interpretive claim.
· A strong interpretive claim, which is clearly indicated in the first paragraph.
· Support for your thesis in the form of formal evidence, drawn from aspects of mise-en-scène and cinematography that you identified in your shot-by-shot analysis, referencing specific shot numbers.
· Edited and concise writing, with proper use of grammar and spelling. Italicize a film’s title and include the director and release date in parentheses after. Give accurate names of characters (actors names are not necessary).

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