• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How do editing and mise-en-scene shape our understanding of and response to the opening sequence of Mullen's The Magdalen Sisters?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How do editing and mise-en-scene shape our understanding of and response to the opening sequence of Mullen's The Magdalen Sisters? Peter Mullen's brilliant, if biased direction shapes our anger for the four young Irish girls who land in the cruel laundries of the Magdalen Sisters. In the 1960's, Catholic girls who were deemed promiscuous, pregnant or potentially provocative were sent into servitude in the Magdalen Laundries, a slave-labour business run by the Catholic Church in certain Irish communities. In the opening sequence, where Margaret's fate is determined, the setting (in the mise-en-scene) of a wedding uses hardly any dialogue, to build up tension with sound. The diagetic sound of a priest's voice precedes the opening shot of a close up of a drum that shadows the priest's hands. The punitive image on the drum illustrates the harsh side of religion. The hand maintains a beat that dominates the wedding, making the priest the orchestrator of emotions. A cut to the back of the drum, offers a close up on the hand which will control destinies, especially women's, in this orthodox Irish Catholic community. A pan up to a close up of the priest's sweaty, consumed face with his eyes closed, shows his involvement in his own voice. ...read more.

Middle

As she struggles to leave the room a cut reveals the back of Margaret followed by a quick cut to her slapping him and a cut back to the front of her cousin's face that shows fear of Margaret's reaction. A medium shot of Kevin leaving the room closing the door behind him makes us feel its over but as Margaret enters the frame to open the door, she is suddenly hit in the face as Kevin charges back in the room with a diagetic smash of the door smacking hard into her face. A series of quick cuts of close ups of Margaret's struggle to get free but Kevin pushes her to the floor and rapes her. Diagetic sound creates the insensitive brutality in thuds and bangs. This is the first time we hear dialogue, and it comes as a shock to the audience because of its content, the way its delivered and the violent nature of his act. She pleads with him but he just covers up her mouth, as all girls will be silenced in the narrative. It is shocking and upsetting, as he's so cruel and uncaring. A cut to the celebration downstairs frames a medium shot of a young boy sitting alone covering his ears to the loud music, which shows the power of the music over the characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

A cut back to a close up of the father and priest as they emerge shows the sweat on their faces increasing tension. The constant glances at Margaret indicate to the audience that the outcome of the discussion will not be fair. A cut back to Margaret as she watches her father in distress, is followed by a point of view shot of her father with horrified anger on his face as he stares intently at his daughter. A cut back to a close up of Margaret reveals she realizes it has all gone wrong as she feels the anger from her father. The music fades. The diagetic sound of bagpipe note fades into what sounds like a car horn cueing a cut to a long shot of a black car coming towards us. The sudden cut to the car coming to take Margaret away prepares us for the sudden harsh decision to cast her out. Mullen uses the film codes to make us feel how horribly unfair and unfeeling this is, so we are set up to expect the similar destiny for all the other girls condemned as sinners by fathers and fathers. Mullen has weighted our sympathies strongly but it is effective as we are so shocked and involved from the outset. Word Count: 1613 ?? ?? ?? ?? Samantha Wordsworth 12F 03344 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. How does the opening sequence of Moulin Rouge inform the audiences understanding of the ...

    It also contrasts with the sorrowful sound of Christians voice. As the camera moves through the dancers it is constantly spinning as if it were on the end of a windmill blade. The bright and jubilant music that is playing clashes with the screams of laughter coming from the people that work in the Moulin Rouge.

  2. 'Three Sisters' by Anton Chekhov Act 1 - Irina

    She constantly is shown to be looking to the future with anticipation, for example, going to Moscow and comments on life's natural beauty, such as the weather. Instead of becoming absorbed by work such as Olga, she prefers to admire life's pure splendour rather than be filled with so much anxiety and exhaustion that she cannot live.

  1. How do Peter Benchley and Steven Spielberg build up tension and suspense in the ...

    The camera returns to Chrissie who grabs onto the buoy whilst erratically screaming only to get dragged off under the water. There is then a final shot of the boy creating a very calm and gentle atmosphere. This is in stark contrast to the frenzy that has just happened.

  2. How do the micro elements cinematography and mise-en-scene contribute to the creation of a ...

    The gun also creates empathy as the audience know that the main protagonist is going to get into trouble for his actions. The final part of the mise-en-scene is the facial expressions used by the characters. The male protagonists facial expressions, through out the sequence are very serious, however this

  1. 28 Days later - Analyse how the mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound create meaning ...

    Cutting again to a long shot we see Jim slowly descending the stairs, this shows his fear and apprehension. The lobby is also strewn with litter and overturned furniture giving it a post-apocalyptic feel.

  2. Consider how the audience is terrorised by the film Jaws making detailed reference to ...

    But as the film persists, the shark attacks are out in the middle of the ocean and from the moment the characters leave the beach to go hunting, they are cut off from the rest of the characters. This is where the mise-en-scene technique is most used in the film.

  1. THE RESPONSE PHASE

    Some questions that were asked during this exercise was what the characters intended to do after school, what were their thoughts on the new teacher Mr. Nixon, why did they think they were let down by society, what type of clothes would they wear to suit their character e.g.

  2. What part does the mise en scene play in the introduction of the character ...

    character is only human, this is important to the next scene because it allows the development of both sides of Indiana's character. There is then a change of setting, the first shot is a wide shot of a church or a school building; this has been done to show a complete contrast between the scenes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work