26 September 2011

The Wizard of Oz

In the movie the Wizard of Oz, the director Victor Flemming did a magnificant job portraying mise en scene. The Wizard of Oz is such a classic film that has been known in history to be a "classic". Produced in 1939, the film still is known to be one of the most watched and favorite productions of all time. In the movie there was one particular scene in which I felt demonstrated the acting, lighting and costumes perfectly. The scene being referred is the instance when Dorthy is placed upon the land of oz. This is when everything begins to come to life.
The lighting in this scene really is what begins to fully capture the audience in the film. The first 20 minutes of the movie was solely black and white. While this definitely contributes to the movie, I feel the black and white verse the color complete one another in multiple ways. Black and white helps the audience to fully focus on just the characters and really getting to know "them". Because there is a lack of vibrance added, you are drawn to only what is taking place and studying the characters without distraction. I felt this was very important focusing on the dramatizing scene of the tornado but leading to a world of color. Entering into the land of Oz the characters come to life. You really get to see the emphasize and almost dream like land where the movie takes place. The color helps the audience to jump right into the movie almost and be captivated by all the colors. The lighting turns much more brighter on the actors giving the ones observing the film a whole new look and feel to what is going on.
The acting in this opening scene helped the film to show true character and emphasis. Dorthy's reaction and confussion to this "new land" she had entered helped the audience to be drawn into what was next. Everyone's first immediate reaction was oh what a happy beautiful land! Meanwhile we see that fear was brought on the munchkins who resided in this place. This was shown throughout the scene without words really even being used. Out of no where the good witch appears bringing peace among the people. The good witch brings warmth and harmony. Each character presented bringing different aspects to the film helps the audience to begin to wonder what will take place and where will Dorthy end up. I did not feel that the acting was cheesy, but more so happy go lucky in an exciting curious sense.
The last element of mise en scene that contributed to the Wizard of Oz scene was the costumes. The outfits were so alive and colorful. It was beneficial because it gave the viewers an assumption of the character. For example, Dorthy when in color is beautiful and very innocent looking. Her hair is braided, her make up soft but pleasant. She is wearing a blue checkered dress. She is portrayed as "perfectly innocent and sweet". To flip the script a little when the wicked witch arrives moments after Dorthy appears the audience automatically gets a sense of anger and disgust towards this woman. First off, she is green.... the color to make someone look like they are ill or sick. Also, she is dressed in all black. The wicked witches color resides from her skin tone, not really giving her the benefit to come off as being friendly or even something special for that fact. Seeing these two characters in two very different costumes before they even speak a word helps the viewers to already get a feel for who they are and what is maybe to come.
This movie is a classic and has very many attributes, making this a movie to watch over and over again.

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