The Language of Film:
Andrew Douglas Language of Film Series
Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning
Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Senior Director, Education and Administration, Bryn Mawr Film Institute
The Language of Film: “Diegesis,” “Mise-en-scène” and “Chiaroscuro” are not trendy nightspots, but rather some key terms of film analysis. These lectures introduce students to cinematic grammar, giving them the vocabulary and frames of reference to view and discuss motion pictures in a more insightful and critical manner. From an early age, we learn to observe movies with awe and delight. Now, as we’ve carried that wonder with us into adulthood, we can also approach cinema as more active and sophisticated viewers. Join us in learning to engage with the medium on its own terms and to discover some of the techniques by which we make meaning of the movies we see. Understanding the language of film allows you to get more enjoyment out of your cinematic experience — and to impress your friends in post-movie discussions!
A term borrowed from the theater, roughly translating to “staging the scene,” in film, mise-en-scène (pronounced “meez-on-sen”) refers to the director’s control over what appears within the frame. To think of it another way, if you were to analyze a still image from a film — a single frame — like you would a photograph or painting, you would be observing and thinking about its mise-en-scène. This lecture will discuss things like setting, costumes, lighting and actors’ movements, all of which play a more significant role in a film’s meaning than you might think. It will feature clips from Bicycle Thieves (1948) and The Graduate (1967), among others.
This presentation is part of Andrew Douglas' The Language of Film lecture series.