Charlie Chaplin 's Use Of Mise En Scene Essay

1045 Words Jul 8th, 2015 5 Pages
Charlie Chaplin’s use of Mise-en-scene in The Immigrant
Charlie Chaplin’s film “The Immigrant” illustrates his mastery of the art of Mise-en-scene. His clever use of framing, movement, set design, props, costume, and acting in this silent movie, artfully communicates emotion and story to the audience in every scene. The lack of sound did not hinder his ability to tell the story in a straightforward, inventive, and hilarious way, and in this paper, I’ll point out just a few of the scenes where I feel I see the best use of Mise-en-scene.
According to Robert Kolker of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, “Mise-en-scène can be defined as the articulation of cinematic space, and it is precisely space that it is about.” Kolker further defines Mise-en-scene as “almost everything that goes into the composition of the shot, including the composition itself: framing, movement of the camera and characters, lighting, set design and general visual environment, even sound as it helps elaborate the composition.” (1) Beginning with the tight framing of the ship in the opening scene of The Immigrant, Chaplin uses framing to present the ship as a cold and uncomfortable environment even before we see the conditions on-board. He next uses a tightly framed fast pan from right to left of the people on-board, while rocking the camera to create the feel of the ship’s exaggerated rolling movement. His characters all look weary and ill, and are positioned tightly grouped together,…

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