BBC Sherlock

Please watch the movie clip or whole movie, if it is possible. (you could see the clip on youtube). And Please answer those questions below. But please do not use quotes from the movie and other sources. And there are some useful definitions to help you to write the paper. Thank you – Mise-en-scene: BBC Sherlock Analyze a shot in the first fifteen minutes of the film you watched for Week Four. The shot should have at least two people in it. When you find the shot, pause it (freeze it) on the screen so you can look at it carefully. Then answer the following questions about the shot that you picked. Explain the reasons for your answers. 1.    What is happening in the shot, and why? Why do you think so? 2.    b) What is the dominant in the shot? What are the subsidiaries? Why do you think so? c). What are the character positions in the shot? Why do you think so?d)  Is this shot open or closed form? Is this shot dense or loose? Why do you think so? e). What is the proxemic distance between the characters? Why do you think so? DEFINITION: Mise-en-scene: (example analysis at the end) 1.    FILM HOMEWORK: Watch one of the two films/shows assigned for Week Four. They are available on Netflix. The BBC Sherlock is on the TV Shows menu, and Nightcrawler is on the Movies menu. Both of these have a more formalist style than M, which has a more classical style. Classical or Hollywood style movies have a smooth, seamless style that draws viewers into the story- the visuals and sound are not conspicuous. Formalist movies make us more aware of the form, which is often flashy and dramatic looking. The mise-en-scene is sometimes eye-catching. Very formalist style screams This is a movie! This is not real life! For example, The Matrix movies are formalist.     2) MISE-EN-SCENE REVIEW SHEET: This is a summary of the basic concepts of film mise-en-scene, a French term pronounced Meez on sen, meaning placement on the (theater) stage.  You should read the definitions carefully, and look for examples of the terms used. Which shots look particularly interesting, and why? To analyze the mise-en-scene of a shot, study the terms below to analyze these elements. You should be able to identify when the shot begins and ends accurately. Freezing it on the screen helps you limit your analysis to one shot. You should be able to identify the dominant contrast,(what you notice first), the subsidiary contrast (what you notice next), and you should be able to explain why you notice things in this order. You should explain whether the shot is open or closed form. You should explain whether the shot is dense or lose form. You should identify character placement (wherein the shot they are) and staging positions (how they are turned.) You should identify the character proxemics- how close are they to each other? You should identify provide an explanation to support your analysis- why do you think so? For a single shot, analyze the following to understand the mise-en-scene: What do we see in the frame? What do the placement and presentation of the elements in the frame say about what’s going on? What is the emotional impact, and why? 1) What’s the dominant contrast? The dominant contrast is the first thing we notice in the shot, whatever catches our eye first. Where is it, and why? Why is it the dominant?- What catches our eye? In order= – movement  -position in the frame (center usually) – striking colors  – high contrast lighting/anything lit by a spot, – intrinsic interest (ex. the person talking, the gorilla, etc.) What are the subsidiary contrasts? The subsidiaries are the next things that we notice as our eye moves around the frame. Things to consider in analyzing the dominant and subsidiaries: What’s the lighting key and contrast: does the lighting help pick out the dominant or subsidiaries? (ex. spot) What’s the angle? Do we look up or down at the dominant and subsidiaries? What are the color values? Is there a color that “pops” ex? white, red, black? How dense is the frame? (How much stuff is in it?) If there’s a lot of stuff in the frame, it’s harder to spot a single dominant; there may be multiple subsidiaries; feeling of confusion/ we don’t know where to look in very dense frames 2) How is the frame arranged? How geometric is it?  Is it divided up right/left? Are the elements in the frame off-center or not? Does the arrangement seem orderly or random? Is the form open or closed? Closed-form:  carefully arranged like a painting in a frame, often geometric and balanced Open form: elements are arranged randomly, like an unposed picture of friends you take just to document what’s happening Is the form dense or loose? Dense form: the frame is crowded with stuff, with little or no open space (feels trapped, confined) ( ex . A library with row after row of stacks of books, hardly room to walk around, or a dense forest with thick brush and lots of trees, no room to move) Lose form: There’s lots of open space, not much stuff in the shot (feels free). (Ex. A huge room with a high ceiling, walls of glass, and  only one couch and a couple of chairs, or a shot of a desert landscape that goes on for miles, with a mountain range in the far distance) 3) Character placement: Where are the people in the frame, and why are they arranged that way? How big are they in the frame? What does this show about how they relate to each other, or to objects in the frame? Is their placement geometric or random? 5) Staging positions: How are the characters turned? Why?- Full front = facing the viewer directly- Quarter turn = one shoulder/foot slightly forward, so turned slightly- Profile = turned sideways, facing left or right- Three-quarter turn = turned almost completely away, so only a small part of the face shows- Full turn = Turned completely away so we see only the back The emotional meaning of staging positions = Full front= most open, intimate, revealed; three-quarter turn, full turn= most concealed,  emotions are hidden 6) Character proxemics: How close are people to each other: what is their proxemic distance to each other? (This varies by society, but movies use proxemics typical of their society, so for Hollywood movies, U.S. society) Intimate = touching, or close enough to touch easily Personal = close enough to have a conversation easily in a normal voice Social = distance from someone you don’t know while waiting at a bus stop, or distance from someone you’ve just met at a formal meeting Public = distance from podium speaker to people in the audience The emotional meaning of character proxemics: How emotionally close to each other are the characters? Does the distance between them show they feel close to each other, or is someone invading the other person’s space in a threatening way? Is the distance neutral? Mise-en-scene=  Example of basic analysis: Sherlock Holmes BBC ( from a different episode) Here we see two men in the foreground, (Watson and another) and Sherlock sitting in the mid-ground behind them. Dominant contrast = Sherlock sitting in the center of the frame because he’s in the center because he’s moving ( turning pages), and also because of intrinsic interest- we look at whatever is most interesting Subsidiary contrasts = The two men on either side of the frame because they are close and in focus, and talking. Arrangement of the frame = It’s geometric, with a man on each side framing  Sherlock in the middle Open or closed form? It’s closed-form because of the geometric and intentional arrangement- it’s not random that the men frame Sherlock Dense or loose frame? It’s dense- the room is cluttered with objects as well as having three people in it. There is almost no open space. Character placement = The two men in the foreground are close, talking to each other and connecting, but Sherlock is further back, ignoring them Staging positions = The man on the right is in profile, the man on the left is in a three-quarter turn, looking toward Sherlock, and Sherlock is in a quarter turn, but looking down at his book. Character proxemics = The two men are at a personal distance, close enough to have a quiet conversation with each other, but Sherlock is at a social, almost the public distance from them, and not looking, so not connecting with them. The emotional impact of proxemics = The two men are connecting with each other, but Sherlock is ignoring them, in his own world.

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