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

Looking at mise-en-scene, cinematography and sound in the film Leon (Luc Besson) 1994.

Extracts from this document...


Focus on how one or more of mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and and sound create meaning and generate response in a film sequence of no more than seven minutes. I will be looking at mise-en-scene, cinematography and sound in the film Leon (Luc Besson) 1994 In the opening sequence of Leon, Besson uses a travelling aerial shot of a lake followed by a huge park, which is finally dominated by huge, cosmopolitan skyscrapers. The camera rests here to show the contrast in jungle and urban life. We then enter the urban city, where several travelling shots going through the streets are used giving an apparent sense of setting and location. The added use of non-diagetic sound combined with many beautiful shots of New York's streets combine to produce a very mysterious atmosphere. This mood is enhanced once we zoom in to the dark open doorway of a small Italian restaurant. The first image of Leon goes hand-in-hand with the first scene, as we see him only in an extreme close-up of his eyes, which are concealed beneath sunglasses. ...read more.


This is complimented by the continual nervous and eerie music. There is a striking diagetic sound as the music dies down to the sound of the lift door opening, yet once the bodyguards realise that Leon is not in the lift, a sudden burst of panic and fast paced movement erupts. This is emphasised by the loudness and fast paced music. Now the camera becomes more unsteady to convey the bodyguard's increasingly desperate situation. The stylish and sophisticated way that Leon assassinates each bodyguard in turn shows his cool, calm and collected manner. His firm, professional movements contrast greatly with the mood of louder, fast paced music surrounding the frightened and panicking bodyguards. The eerie music used throughout this sequence gives a strong impression that the bodyguards are trying to fight something ghost-like, or even supernatural. Leon remains invisible, striking precisely and then vanishing without trace. The scene continues with panning camera shots conveying death and how the victim has been left alone, as the only survivor. ...read more.


As a result of this, an implication of humour is added. This results in a drop in the intense suspense of the scene, and the atmosphere is almost calm. However, once Leon is told by his boss to "make him understand, then let him go," intense and sinister sound effects creep in and the mood transforms entirely, adding tension and trepidation. However, this is only short lived, as Leon only makes the victim say "I understand," which again adds humour. Leon slips back into the shadows with ghostly and mystified sounds following his exit. These sounds reinforce his sinister and mysterious nature. Although admittedly some scenes have a comical side to them, Besson's fast paced action and gruesome images hold the tension and suspense brilliantly. His use of close-ups and camera movements, especially the subjective stance used by the victim, convey the feelings felt by the characters and the way in which they behave. Sound plays a crucial role in the opening sequence because, in my view, it is used to control the level of suspense and intrigue. ...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 Films section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

I think this is a very strong analysis of the emotional impact of a well directed action sequence, and the author is beginning to use the technical language of film studies very naturally. All it is lacking is a little reflection on the "deeper meaning" of the scene in general, in the form of some discussion of the very fine moral line that Besson is walking with the way he characterises Leon.

Think about it: Is Leon a "good guy" in the traditional sense of this term? If he's not a good guy, why do we like him?

This essay reveals some of the ways that Besson pulls off the very difficult trick of making us identify with Leon, and to think of him as a sympathetic and attractive character even though he is basically an emotionally retarded multiple murderer.

How can we identify with a murderer while still being able to believe that we are "nice people"? How does Besson help us to do this? Think about how his careful blend of comedy and violence keeps you hooked into the narrative; or the way he presents Leon as "a kind of innocent" and also as "a kind of god"; or the way he makes sure Leon's lethal fury is only ever directed at clearly identified "bad guys" etc.

Current grade: The detail and depth of the analysis, and the natural use of the technical language, means this essay merits 3.5 stars.

Marked by teacher Govinda Dickman 07/08/2013

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 Films essays

  1. Analyse how tap dancing has been influenced by Fred Astaire as a performer

    Pan as a rehearsal partner and for purposes of fine tuning the dance routines. Pan already knew Rogers and her strengths and limitations and thus became an integral part of Astaire's rehearsal team. Astaire's perfection and rehearsal habits have been said to be too stressful for many to cope with,

  2. Shrek - Film Review

    So then again it shows us that it is trying to be different and being very unpredictable so it can give Disney a run for their money. The thing that makes this film so funny is that it manages to repeatedly mock fairy tales and keep it fresh throughout the entire film.

  1. Rear Window is Hitchcock showcase of how camera works with mise-en-scene to create suspense ...

    This analysis will demonstrate explicit knowledge on two main aspects - lighting and camera movement, which I consider as most meaningful and symbolic in terms of visual language and the effect that they create. The following section will illustrate this thesis.

  2. Analysis of the opening scene of sin city

    The level of sound of the actor's voice is very low compared to the narrator's voice. Camera switches to a shot reverse shot and there is a close up on her face and you can see her face light up at the same time the narrator says "it's not just your face".

  1. How do mise en scene and cinematography create meaning and affect audience response within ...

    We can see that this person is clearly a little girl but the audience is left confused as to why her face is not fully shown (because of the shadows) in this shot. I think Zack Snyder used this dark lighting to shock the audience when her face is finally revealed as it is covered in blood.

  2. "La vita e Bella" - film review

    spirit and the idea that life is indeed beautiful, no matter what obstacles we face." I personally think that "Life is Beautiful" was an overall a brilliant film. I can also understand how people think that Benigni's portrayal of the concentration camps wasn't as accurate as people expected.

  1. Godfather Scene Analysis

    He is also confined within the frame. Most of it is blocked, suggesting the lack of options he has at this point. He has come too far to back out; he could not return to his family with the job undone.

  2. Analysis of a scene from 'Casablanca'.

    As we can see, the first part of the shot starts with a long shot of the café with the Captain Renault and Rick in the middle of the scene. With this long shot we have access to the space where we can see the people talking and drinking and

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