In film theory, mise en scène [mizA~sEn] refers to everything that is to appear before the camera and its arrangement – sets, props, actors, costumes, camera movements and performances. The term was coined by early Frenchfilm critics and means literally "put into the scene" or "setting in scene." In auteur theory, less creative directors are sometimes disparagingly called "metteurs en scène". Film theory seeks to develop concise, systematic concepts that apply to the study of film/cinema as art. ... A camera is a device used to take pictures (usually photographs), either singly or in sequence, with or without sound, such as with video cameras. ... Actors in period costume sharing a joke whilst waiting between takes during location filming. ... Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films. ... The Auteur Theory is a way of reading and appraising films through the imprint of an auteur, usually meant to be the director. ... The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ...
German filmmaking in the 1920s excelled at conveying tone, meaning, and information through mise en scène. Perhaps the most famous example of this was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari where the doctor's internal state of mind was represented in the sets and lighting. Sometimes referred to as the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age. ... The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Kabinett des Dr. caligari in German) is a groundbreaking 1919 silent film directed by Robert Wiene. ...
It has also come to represent a style of conveying the information of a scene primarily through a single shot – often accompanied by camera movement. It is to be contrasted with multiple angles pieced together through editing.
The Straight Dope: What do artsy film critics mean by "mise-en-scene"? (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_372a.html)
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