The whole essay will be composed of three parts, an introduction, three bodies and a conclusion. For the introduction part, I will briefly introduce the basic plot of the movie Groundhog day and its director Harold Ramis. After that, I will explain the term mise en scene. Saying that this word first came from French word ‘staging’ in a theater, I will write this word is including everything which constitutes a film. I am going to write that according to Bordwell, D & Thompson, K, largely there are setting, costume(makeup), lighting and staging(movement and performance) in mise en scene.
Then, I will raise a question whether every mise en scene is intentional. In the body part, I will divide it into three paragraphs. In the first paragraph, I will focus on figure’s expression and movement (performance). Here, according to Richard Dyer, figure movement includes every kind of movement from the action of the whole body to the movement of eyebrows, wrinkles and lips. Also, figure not only means human beings but also other objects or animals. After defining the meaning of figure movement, I will analyze the movements in my self-chosen scene in the film. which is from 17:40 to 23:40) I will analyze the scene like the following way.
‘When the scene starts from 17:40, the film shows the change of the clock from 5:59 to 6. This is not a part of acting but a figure movement which shows the change of the day. After the clock scene, we can observe the movement of the main character, Phil. He just wakes up from the bed and hears the radio sound. We can tell from his frowned face that he is thinking the radio channel stupid because he thinks the channel is repeating the same tape.
But he felt something strange if the broadcast is continued and his face becomes suspicious. Then he looks out the window. Here we can see movements of people and cars outside going all ahead to the groundhog festival. This movement has a role of distinguishing the new day and repeated days because it is distinguishable with the last scene showing nobody outside the window. ’ Like this way, I will concretely analyze the movements, positions, postures and facial expressions of actors and objects in chosen five-minute scene.
In the second paragraph, I will talk about the lighting in the film. Lighting is one of important parts in the film. Though the film is taken in the daytime, to make the scene clearer and more dramatic, lighting is compulsory. There are many kinds of lighting according to where the light is shone such as frontal, side, back and so on. Also, according to the intensity of the light contrast it could be divided into high and low-key lighting. Like this, I will briefly explain some sorts of important lighting.
In this film, because it is a Hollywood film, most of the lighting is composed of basic three-point lighting which are key light, fill light and back light. Even most of the scenes I chose to analyze are taken out in the fields it used three-point lighting rather than natural lighting. In the last body paragraph, I will briefly talk about setting, props costume and makeup portrayed in the film, Groundhog day from the self-chosen scene. Because the main point I should focus on is the figure expression, figure movement and lighting, I will shortly mention the other parts of mise en scene in the film.
For example, I will explain the meaning of the clothes Phil and Rita are wearing and the role of objects around the main character such as coffee in the lobby of hotel or a plash Phil continuously passes by. In conclusion, I will sum up the main points I made in previous paragraphs and emphasize the role of mise-en-scene in the film. Also, I will conclude that as we can see from clues above(movements, lighting and costume and so on), we can say that most of the mise en scene is intentionally planned.