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Mise En Scene Analysis Of Titanic Film Studies Essay

4748 words (19 pages) Essay in Film Studies

5/12/16 Film Studies Reference this

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In this chapter, content analysis will be used to analyze the film ‘Titanic’ in qualitative perspectives from the five mise-en-scene elements (Acting style, setting, space, costume and lighting) and also the focus group to find out ideological elements that portrayed in this film. Besides that, the reporting of the discussion in the focus group which is based on the four themes also will be included.

Setting can be used to amplify character’s emotions or the dominant mood of a film; it also can establish aspects of the character. In the film ‘Titanic’, there were only two settings in this movie, the salvage ship, and also the RMS Titanic. The salvage ship was most taken place at the beginning part of the film. This is the working place of the treasure hunter Brock Lovett and his team members who explored the wreck of the RMS HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic”Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean; they are searching for a necklace named ‘the Heart of the Ocean’. They have found out a sketch of a nude woman wearing it, the date was writing at the sketch – April 14, 1912, which was the night the RMS Titanic sinking by hit the iceberg. The old Rose Dawson has recognized the nude woman in the sketch is her. So, she and her granddaughter visit the treasure hunter Brock Lovett and his team on this salvage ship. Rose recalls her memories about the RMS Titanic while answering question from Brock Lovett. So, this setting is the secondary setting in this film, the main setting is the RMS Titanic.

The main setting RMS Titanic is consists of indoor and outdoor. The indoor of RMS Titanic got several levels; the upper level is the extravagant hall, restaurant, church, VIP room and so on. It has created a sense of high class culture; audiences will feel that the upper level is for the higher level and rich people. The lower level is slightly contrast with the higher level, the restaurant and room of the lower level is obviously low standard, not much decoration, the upper level’s room is big and have the king size bed, but the lower level’s room is small and only have the double-decker bed set, so each small room need to fit a few people, it has created a sense of the place for lower level or poor people.

The outdoor of the RMS Titanic is showing the grand of the ship. Several scene was taken place at the outdoor of RMS Titanic which is the scene that the main character Jack was so excited to get into the RMS Titanic, he shout out ‘I am the king of the world’. The scene that the main character Rose want to commit suicide to jump into the sea, Jack was stop him and says ‘You jump I jump’, the dialogue was memorable. The flying scene that the main character Rose was holding by Jack, standing high and Rose says ‘I can fly’, this is one of the memorable romantic scene that was taken place at the outdoor of RMS Titanic.

Acting Style

The acting style refers to the character acting in the film, which is the actor or actress in the film. The acting style is important because the actor/actress is the only element has movement in the scene. There have three main characters in this film which is Jack Dawson, Rose DeWitt Bukater, and Caledon Nathan “Cal” Hockley. Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Jack is a penniless Wisconsin man who has toured various parts of the world, primarily Paris. At the beginning of this film, Jack has wins two third-class tickets onto the RMS Titanic in a poker game and travels with his friend Fabrizio. He is attracted to Rose at first sight and meets her when she wants to jump into the sea to commit suicide. This accident enables him to mix with the first-class passengers for a night, and also starts a love story with another main character, Rose.

Rose DeWitt Bukater was acted by Kate Winslet. Rose is a 17-year-old girl in this film, she is originally from Philadelphia, in order to maintain their high-class status, she forced into an engagement to 30-year-old Caledon Hockley ‘Cal’ after her father’s death had left the family debt-ridden. Rose boards the RMS Titanic with her fiancĂ© Cal and her mother Ruth, as a first-class passenger, and she meets Jack and starts their love story on the ship. Another main character is Caledon Nathan ‘Cal’ Hockley acted by Billy Zane. He is Rose’s 30-year-old fiancĂ©, and he is the main antagonist of this film. His characteristic is arrogant and snobbish. The relationship of Rose and Jack was made him increasingly embarrassed, jealous, and cruel. He was commits suicide after losing his fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Besides that, the supporting characters also playing an important role in this film. They are Rose Dawson Calvert, Brock Lovett, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and also Margaret HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown””HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown”MollyHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown””HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown” Brown. Gloria Stuart as Rose Dawson Calvert, she is the character of 100-year-old Rose. She gives Brock Lovett some information regarding to the “Heart of the Ocean”. She tells the story of her time aboard the ship; she is the one who narrate in this story. Brock Lovett was acted by Bill Paxton, he is a treasure hunter that looking for the “Heart of the Ocean” in the sketch that found from the present RMS Titanic. This character was wild ambition, but he later reflects at the end of the film, says he has never understood the story of Titanic until he hears Rose’s story.

Ruth DeWitt Bukater is Rose’s mother, acted by Frances Fisher. She is Rose’s widowed mother; she arranges Rose engagement to Cal in order to maintain her family’s high-class status after her husband died. She believes that social position is more important than her daughter. She looks down to Jack, although he saved her daughter’s life. This character was created a sense of arrogant and selfish. Margaret HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown””HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown”MollyHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown””HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown” Brown, acted by Kathy Bates. Because of her sudden wealth, she is looked down by other first-class women, including Ruth, Rose’s. She is never looks down and friendly to Jack, she lends Jack a tuxedo when he is invited to dinner in the first-class dining saloon. Her friendly was created the sense of positive to this character.

Lighting

Lighting is emphasizing on the texture, distance, mood, shape, season, glamour, time of day or night. In this analysis, we have divided the movie as three part, which is the beginning part (The salvage ship is using the submarine to treasure hunting at RMS Titanic that under the sea), rising action part (When Rose aboard to the Titanic and meet Jack), the climax and ending part (after the Titanic hit the iceberg).so, the beginning part mostly used the low key lighting when treasure hunting the RMS Titanic that under the sea, the low key lighting was created the mood of under the sea, they only used the spotlight of submarine to illuminate some part of the RMS Titanic, it has convey the sense of the sadness and loneliness of the RMS Titanic.

The rising action part is after the main character Rose aboard to the Titanic and meets Jack; we can see the high key with yellow lighting at the upper level on the ship. This created the sense of high-culture and extravagant to the scene. For example, the scene of Jack first step into the lobby of the upper class level, the high-key lighting has contrasting the lower level with normal lighting. So, audiences can feel the extravagant of the upper level and also the simple and crude of the lower level. The scene of the working place for the worker is using lower key lighting, it’s conveys the working environment of the lowest level at the time.

The climax part is after the Titanic hit the iceberg and going to sinking. Most of the scene is used the low-key lighting in order to conveys the sense of the death of Titanic. This is strongly contrasting with the grand and extravagant of the Titanic, showing how the Titanic has been destroyed and how the human try to survive in this happening. Because the RMS Titanic is at the center of Atlantic Ocean, and it’s on midnight, so the environment around the Titanic is dark, and also the Titanic was sinking, so the lighting will be darker by step-by-step.

So, in this film, different uses of lighting has represent different meaning to the scene, at the most last scene, there have showing the present Titanic with low-key lighting and dissolve to the high-key lighting of the extravagant corridor and lobby, it’s successful to attract audiences mind and contrasting the present and the last time of RMS Titanic.

Costume

Costume refers to the clothes that the characters wearing in the scene, make-ups also categorized under this element. The main character Jack Dawson has wearing at least two costumes in this film which are the Bib shirt ensemble that include the bid shirt, corduroy pants and suspenders, this created the sense of character that the lower standard traveler. Jack was wearing the tuxedo set that borrowed from Madam Molly when he is invited to dinner in the first-class dining saloon.

Besides that, the main character Rose DeWitt Bukater has changed at least seven different costume in this film, most of her costume is extravagant Victorian dress and aristocrat costume in order to portrayed her as the higher-class people in the film. The antagonist character in this film Cal is always wearing the gentlemen suit and tuxedo in order to make him look more high-class in the film.

For the supporting cast such like the Rose’s mother, Madam Molly and also others high-level ladies, they are wearing caroler costume which include a hat, this is popular to the high-level ladies at the time, for the gentlemen in this drama was wearing gentlemen costume in this film. Low-level ladies and gentlemen are wearing the suit and dress with low quality. And also the ship crews are wearing their uniform at all the time.

Space Arrangement

The space arrangement refers to the depth, proximity, size and proportions of the places and objects in a scene that can be manipulated through the camera position, camera shot and so on. There have few interesting scene in this film has been taken for the analysis. The first scene that Rose recall back is Rose going aboard to the Titanic, the detail shot from high angle to her costumer, telling audience that Rose is belongs to the privileged class, this shot has enhanced the meaning by the voice-over which is ‘To me it was a slave ship taking me back to America in chains. Outwardly I was everything a well-brought-up girl should be. Inside I was screaming.’ Everyone looked Titanic as a dream but not to Rose.

The shot of the Titanic cross the sea and overstep others small boat in the sea has created the meaning that the Titanic is grand. During the night, Rose running out from the restaurant and wants to jump out from the ship, the high angle shots has appears to make a contrast of the large of sea and the small of human. When Jack first time enter the first class lobby, the tilt up to the ceiling and follow shot of Jack has created the sense that the first class lobby is tall and wide, which means extravagant and also contrasting with the lower-class. The shot that Jack drawing the Rose’s nude pictures, close-up to their Rose’s eyes to convey the sense of Rose are feeling sweet and she is willing to be naked in front of the guys who she loved.

The shot that tilt up to Rose that inside the save boat and tilt up to Jack that still at the ship, showing their eye contact and Rose thinking to going back to the ship. This scene is touching and created the meaning that they are not willing to separate. After the ship sank, Rose was lying on the wood. The tilt down shot created the meaning that human is the smallest item in the nature. At the end, close-up to the eyes of older Rose after she finished the story, this make a sense of vicissitudes of time, Rose has been old, but she is still remember the happening of the unforgettable night.

These five mise-en-scene elements (setting, acting style, costume, space arrangement and lighting) are well done in the film ‘Titanic’, this is deserved to be the best Oscar’s film of the year. Based on this analysis, this has achieved the objective of find out the five mise-en-scene elements those are seen in the film ‘Titanic’.

4.2 Reporting of Focus Group Discussions

Respondent M1

Name: Andy

Gender: Male

Course: Broadcasting

Age: 22

Respondent F1

Name: Ewen

Gender: Female

Course: Broadcasting

Age: 22

Respondent F2

Name: Chloe

Gender: Female

Course: Broadcasting

Age: 22

Respondent F3

Name: Fish

Gender: Female

Course: Broadcasting

Age: 21

Respondent F4

Name: Kiss

Gender: Female

Course: Broadcasting

Age: 21

The above respondent’s name is anonymous due to confidential purpose

Theme 1: The most preferred mise-en-scene element when viewing a film

M1: I am most preferred acting style. Because a good acting style can lead the movie into higher level and credit for the whole artwork. For example in the film ‘Titanic’, Jack is trying hard to protect Rose and completed the mission impossible. I am most not preferred lighting when viewing a film.

F1: Acting style. This is because if the actor and actress acting style are very poor, I will have no interest in it. But I am more preferred to costume when I am watching ‘Titanic’, because it can let me know about the costumes of last century of England and differences of costumes between rich and poor people. I am not preferred the space arrangement when viewing a film.

F2: I am preferred acting style, setting and costume. Because those others elements only can guide audience fall into their movie. When jack hug rose in front of the ship, the scene very nice and romantic where fulfilled the 5 elements of mise-en-scene. I am not preferred space arrangement.

F3: Agree! I am preferred acting style but not preferred space arrangement. Because the acting style of character can enhance the storyline of film. But when I watching the film ‘Titanic’, I am more preferred the setting in this film. The setting in the film that mostly is in the ship is suitable and luxurious setting, show the social status of some character.

F4: I am agree with F3, I am preferred the setting when viewing a film. I like the setting of the movie because I like the titanic cruise. I am not preferred to the lighting.

Theme 2: Ideological elements portrayed in the film ‘Titanic’

M1: There have race studies, class studies, and postcolonial studies that portrayed in the film ‘Titanic’. The most memorable for me is class studies, lower class people playing lousy instrumental and sing local song under the ship. High class people play violin, piano and etc.

F1: There have Class Studies that I have found in the film ‘Titanic’. Class studies is memorable to me because in this film always show that different class of people will get different treatment.

F2: Race studies were portrayed in this film, because it shows the different races in the ship.

F3: Class studies. Because this film has shows social status obviously through their lifestyle. And it also shows that same social status should be group together.

F4: Same with M1, F1 and F3. Class studies is portrayed in this film because the status symbol in the movie is being portray most of the time especially the higher class will look down at the lower class.

Theme 3: The most memorable scene in the film ‘Titanic’

M1: The most memorable scene for me is Jack let’s Rose lying on wood but he die in the cold ocean. Feel touching, romantic and scarifies and this man are strong without worry shake attack. Their acting is too real like suffering plight; audience can feel the pain and sadness. There also have others memorable scene such as drawing naked body, make love inside the car, you jump I’m jump.

F1: The most memorable for me is after the ship sank, when Jack and Rose in the sea, because Jack is very mighty, he allow Rose go up to the float board that only can support one person and keep remind Rose that, she need to live and can’t die. He still holds Rose’s hand tightly, although he is died. It really very touches. The lighting and acting style are credited. This is because at this scene, the lighting only focuses on Jack and Rose face. So that, we can more focus on their face expression to more get into the storyline. An old couple hugs together and lying down on bed, when Jack and Rose dance at the lower class party also memorable to me.

F2: I still remember the scene that both of them hug in front of the ship, having sex in a car, Jack drew Rose’s naked body and Jack slowly freezing to die in the iceberg ocean. The most memorable scene for me is when Jack hug Rose in front of the ship, because the scene very nice and romantic where fulfilled the 5 elements of mise-en-scene.

F3: Scene of conversation between Jack and Rose when the ship sinking. Because the words that spoken by Jack is touching, I am feeling sad because they are going to apart forever. The setting has did well because there is spectacular during the ship is sinking.

F4: The ship torn into two and everyone is falling from the ship. It is very spectacular. The acting style of the main character is good in this scene. They act very real although I know it is not real.

Theme 4: Comment towards the film ‘Titanic’

M1: Good and successful movie. Everyone knows ‘Titanic’ and everyone watch ‘Titanic’ even children today also watch.

F1: Although ‘Titanic’ is an old movie, but it is still very nice if comparing with the movie nowadays. It really very touches. This film was successful because it still let people remember till now.

F2: ‘Titanic’ is a film that never be forgotten by the people. I think this film is successful because I still can slightly remember the film even I watched it at around 9/10 years old. It’s almost 12 years ago.

F3: ‘Titanic’ is a successful love story with romance storyline, acting style of character is good. A lot of people still remember the storyline of ‘Titanic’ although it released for many years.

F4: ‘Titanic’ is a classic movie that you have to watch in your life time. Everyone knows about ‘Titanic’. Even they dint watch before but heard before. This is classic, nice and successful movie.

4.2.1 Summary of the Reporting on the Focus Group Discussion

Through the reporting concerning to the focus group discussion, there have five of the respondent that consist of one male and four female, four of them said that they are preferred acting style when viewing a film. Respondent M1 said he preferred acting style, because the good acting style can lead the movie into higher level and credit for the whole artwork. Respondent F1 preferred acting style, she said that she will have no interest to certain film that the poor performance of actor or actress. But she is giving credits to the costume in the film ‘Titanic’, because giving her the knowledge about the England last century poor and rich people costumes. Respondent F2 has chosen three elements as her preferred mise-en-scene elements which are the acting style, setting and costume, because the lighting and space arrangement only can guide audience fall into their movie. Respondent F3 said that she is preferred acting style when viewing certain film; the reason is the acting style of character can enhance the storyline of film. She said that she is more preferred the setting in the film ‘Titanic’, because the setting in this film that mostly is in the ship, it is suitable and luxurious setting, show the social status of some character in this film.

Besides that, Respondent F4 has not preferred acting style but setting when viewing a film, she said that it is because she likes the Titanic cruise. M1 and F4 are not preferred lighting and also F1, F2 and F3 are not preferred space arrangement when viewing a film.

Four of the respondents realize that the class study is strongly portrayed in the film ‘Titanic’. One of the respondents thinks that there were only race studies portrayed in this film. Respondent M1 said that the most memorable scene of class studies for him is the lower class peoples are playing lousy instrumental and sing the local song at the lower floor of the ship, but the high class peoples are playing violin, piano and so on. He also stated that there also have portrayed the race studies and postcolonial studies in the film ‘Titanic’. Respondent F1 said that the class studies is memorable to her because there is always showing different classes of people can get different treat in the ship. Respondent F2 said that the race studies were portrayed in this film, because the film has shows there have different races passengers in the ship. Respondent F3 said that the class studies were portrayed in the film ‘Titanic’, because this film has shows social status obviously through their lifestyle. And it also shows that same social status should be group together. Respondent F4 has agreed with the class studies, because the status symbol in this film is being portrayed most of the time especially the higher class will look down at the lower class.

For the most memorable scene in the film ‘Titanic’, only respondent M1 and F1 have the similar answer, others three respondents have different point of view. The respondent M1 said that the most memorable scene for him is Jack let’s Rose lying on wood but he died in the cold ocean. This scene is touching, romantic and scarifies and this man are strong without worry shake attack. He also giving credits to the acting style in this film, he said their acting is too real like suffering plight; audience can feel the pain and sadness even only in front of the screen. Respondent M1 also recall back several memorable scene such as drawing naked body, make love inside the car and you jump I’m jump scene. The respondent F1 said that the most memorable for her is after the ship sank, when Jack and Rose in the sea, Jack is very mighty, he allowed Rose go up to the wood that only can support one person and keep remind Rose that, she need to live and can’t die. He still holds Rose’s hand tightly, although he is died. It really very touches. Respondent F1 has credited to the lighting and acting style of this scene. This is because the lighting only focuses on Jack and Rose face. So that audiences can be more focus on their face expression to more get into the storyline. Respondent F1 also recall back some memorable scene such as an old couple hugs together and lying down on bed, when Jack and Rose dance at the lower class party.

Besides that, the respondent F2 said that she still remember a lot of scene in this film such as the scene that both of them hug in front of the ship, having sex in a car, Jack drew Rose’s naked body and Jack slowly freezing to die in the iceberg ocean. Respondent F2 said that the most memorable scene for her is when Jack hug Rose in front of the ship, because the scene very nice and romantic where fulfilled the 5 elements of mise-en-scene. Respondent F3 said that the most memorable scene for her is the scene of the conversation between Jack and Rose when the ship is sinking. Because the words that spoken by Jack is so touching, she said that she was feeling sad because they are going to apart forever. She also giving credits to the setting of this scene, because there is spectacular during the ship is sinking. For the respondent F4, the most memorable scene for her is the scene that the ship torn into two and everyone is falling from the ship. She said that it is very spectacular. The acting style of the main character has credited because the acting is very real although she know it is not real.

All of the five respondents are giving positive comments towards the film ‘Titanic’, all of them has said the film ‘Titanic’ is an successful film production. Respondent M1 said the film ‘Titanic is a good and successful movie. Nowadays, everyone knows ‘Titanic’, and everyone have watched ‘Titanic’ even children today also watch. Respondent F1 said although the film ‘Titanic’ is an old movie, but it is still very nice if comparing with the present movie. She said that this film is really very touches. This film was successful because it still let people remember till now.

Besides that, respondent F2 said that the film ‘Titanic’ is a film that never be forgotten by the people. She thinks this film is successful because she still can slightly remember the film even she have watched it at around 9-10 years old. It’s almost 12 years ago. Respondent F3 also said that this is a successful love story with romance storyline; acting style of character is good. A lot of people still remember the storyline of ‘Titanic’ although it released for many years. Respondent F4 also said that the film ‘Titanic’ is a classic movie that everyone has to watch once in their life time. She said that everyone knows about ‘Titanic’. Even they didn’t watch before but heard they have before. This is classic, nice and successful movie.

As conclusion, in the overall focus group’s discussion, most of the respondent said that the film ‘Titanic’ is a successful movie, a lot of the memorable scene that they still remember until today. Most of the respondent preferred acting style when viewing a film, following is the setting. And also most of the respondent agreed that the class studies ideological element has portrayed in the film ‘Titanic’.

4.3 Summary

Through the content analysis of mise-en-scene in the film ‘Titanic’, we can know about how the filmmaker is putting the five mise-en-scene elements into the scene. We can have a clear and deeply idea about the application of mise-en-scene.

Besides that, through the finding from the focus group, we can know that the ideological elements portrayed in the film ‘Titanic’ is class studies and the acting style is preferred when audiences viewing a film.

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