Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4

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 essay...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

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

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

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 audience, as they want to see who it is underneath the tights. The colours that are used within the mise-en-scene are mostly dark colours; black and grey are used a lot with the background and also the clothing. The dark colours relate to death, which is very significant.

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

    The scene happens outside sal's and for a small portion inside. A possible reason for this could be that no one wants to go inside and be remembered as helping Sal, this shows the audience that the rioters rely on each other and none of them want to be separated from the security of the group.

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

    During the courthouse scene, a row of large yellow bulbs was lowered onto the stage. The cast members, who played the jury, then stood behind the lights and, in times when they voiced opinion, leant forward into the rays that shone towards the theatre ceiling.

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

    a vase holding them at arms length, Cynthia is offended by her lack of ungratefulness and begins to make snidy comments, 'Oh do you not like em?' Cynthia's smoking also annoys Monica; 'I thought you would have given up by now' Cynthia seems to be invading Monica's privacy and space like an intruder in her house.

  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 ...

    An additional example of a presentational device is the lighting, which is used to enhance either the character or the setting of the film it can also be used to create special effects. Lighting also changes the mood of a scene for example, a blue hue over the scene can create a feeling of shadow.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.