Mise-En-Scene in the Wizard of Oz Essay

1066 Words Mar 24th, 2006 5 Pages
The placement of a prop or altering the way the light shines on a scene, however insignificant they may seem, are ways that the director can select and control meaning in a film. Such is in The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939), specifically during the scene where Dorothy (Judy Galand) has been locked in the Wicked Witch of the West's (Margaret Hamilton) castle room by herself; many aspects of mise-en-scene are noticeable. Many of the elements of the scene she is in contribute to her state and other aspects of the movie. The setting and props of the film all seem to centralize to where she is and how she got there. The light focus' just on Dorothy but also amplifies the intensity of the situation she is in. The behavior of
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Dorothy is wearing her blue dress and a white shirt underneath, the clothes she is wearing seem to play to me like she is a helpless girl in a land far away and does not know what to do now. Aunt Em is wearing a collared shirt, color unknown because she is in Kansas and is black and white, but the pose she is in shows she is very worried about Dorothy and it almost looks like really depends on Dorothy and would not be able to survive without her. Dorothy also has make-up on her and her hair is done up in a ribbon, however there was nothing special done to the appearance of Aunt Em. Aside from being in a castle, Dorothy does not seem as if she is doing too badly in Oz.
Even though some shrug off the seemingly random elements of a scene, all it takes is a bit of analysis of the meaning they really have. By wondering why those items are there and what the mean one can understand a scene to a deeper degree. The actions of the character can greatly define how they are feeling and to a deeper meaning in film as we learn what Dorothy is going through. The light plays a key role as it shows what needs to be shown and keeps viewers guessing in darker places, it also adds to feeling in the movie The Wizard of Oz. The most important aspect of mise-en-scene is the setting as it helps develop the actions and mood of the character; the props also allow us to indulge into the deeper meaning they might

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