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

In the film 'Double Indemnity'-1944- Billy Wilder, lighting and mise-en-scene are very important in creating atmosphere and also affecting the audience.

Extracts from this document...


Shama Lalji In the film 'Double Indemnity'-1944- Billy Wilder, lighting and mise-en-scene are very important in creating atmosphere and also affecting the audience. At the start of the extract under analysis we see Walter driving in his car on a bright, sunny day, he gets out of the car and rings the doorbell of the Dietrichson house. We immediately see frames in the door that suggest he is walking into a trap before he has even entered the house. As he enters the house we are struck by the change in lighting, as inside the house is low-key lit with lines, shades, and shadows, the exterior high key lighting has gone and it is now dark. This also tells the audience that the atmosphere of the house is dark. We then see Phyllis Dietrichson from Walter's point of view. At the top of the stairs she stands holding sunglasses and wearing nothing but a towel. From Phyllis' costume the audience can see obviously that Phyllis is the femme fatal as together with the towel, heavy lipstick and bleach blond hair this is portrayed clearly. ...read more.


Phyllis walks down the stairs and the camera focuses on her ankle and legs, particularly the gold anklet and heart. She wears high heel shoes with straps. This shot fetishes her proving even more to the audience that she is marked out as sexual therefore a femme fatal. It also shows her to have some sort of power as high heels usually represent strong women. Her costume puts forward this idea even more. She wears white but this is a trick because white usually symbolises virginal and purity but Phyllis is the opposite of this, she is a brutal woman, who will do what ever she can to get what she wants, even murder. Phyllis enters the living room and heads straight for the mirror. Through this use of mise-en-scene we learn more about the character of Phyllis; her reflection suggests to the audience that she is dichotomous, at the same time we see Walter's reflection behind her this may suggest to the audience that he is also dichotomous behind her. ...read more.


I also feel the audience see her as quite a sexual person by the way she shows her legs and the ankle bracelet when she walks down the stairs. The lighting of the interior of the Dietrichson house shows the audience that this is a very dangerous place that Walter is entering. There are many objects in the living room that create tension and form an atmosphere, which suggest claustrophobia. The room is also filled with lines that are cause by the light stands and Venetian blinds. I think that this gives the audience a suggestion that it is a trap for Walter and thus emphasises the idea of claustrophobia. Lighting and mise-en-scene are very important they affect the audience's response to a certain character or situation and also help create tension and atmosphere. In 'Double Indemnity' film noir visual aspects are used and this helps create a certain atmosphere. These motifs also help us identify character types in this case it was Phyllis, the femme fatale. On the whole atmospheric lighting and mise-en-scene in 'Double Indemnity' affected the audience in such a way that they could sense the powerful tension in the film. ...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 do the micro elements cinematography and mise-en-scene contribute to the creation of a ...

    The first prop in the sequence is the bikes, this shows a sense of urgency of the characters, and show the audience where they are going it must very important. The piano that is used in the cellar, is played at the lowest key, this shows gloominess, and the tension is built through this low key.

  2. Evaluate the set, lighting, costume and props of two performances that you have recently ...

    This was atmospheric and conveyed how the defendant feared the jurors and saw hem as monstrous and unfeeling. Red light was shone onto the .... woman who was hung for murder, although she was not guilty. This conjured up a very somber and sinister atmosphere, red being the colour of

  1. Focus on how mise-en-scene and sound create meaning and generate response in a sequence ...

    In Sal's he is able to stand behind a bar this use of mise en scene show the audience he feels protected. When the scene develops and moves outside there is nothing for Sal to hide behind there is an empty space in front of him.

  2. Compare the way in which 'Double Indemnity' and 'Blade runner' use film noir conventions. ...

    This is different to other genres because they can be based nearly anywhere and still create the same impression. The characters are split apart. A lot of the time, there is a femme fatales who is in charge of the film.

  1. How does Mike Leigh use mise en scene to create meaning in the barbeque ...

    When Cynthia arrives at Monica's and Maurice's house her body language looks up at the house suggests she feels intimidated and inadequate by Monica's suburban house. As Cynthia enters the house she greets Monica with a kiss on the cheek, Monica pulls back looking uncomfortable which connotes a sense of tension and Monica's snobbery.

  2. Is the Femme Fatale a positive representation of women?

    At the time of film noir there was confusion in the balance of female and male roles and film noir reflected this. There was unrest between women who wanted strong role models and men who wanted to feel superior especially after fighting a testosterone fuelled war.

  1. Discuss the differences in attitudes of Billy and Geoffrey. How do the writers of ...

    Why do you always address all your remarks to the sideboard, Grandmother?" (Act1, lines 117-120) He has no respect for anything and he doesn't seem to care about anything. Billy uses lies to make himself sound interesting and to get out of trouble.

  2. Chicken run - During this essay I am going to analyse how the film ...

    The lighting used in a film refers to the illumination of a camera subject being filmed. Lighting can be natural or artificial as well as being very bright (high key lighting) or dark (low key lighting). Fill light may be used to supplement other lighting on parts of the scene that the key light doesn't cover.

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