• 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. Marked by a teacher

    Film Studies, Presentation Script

    Then the narrative moves to tell the story, or uncover the mystery, in this case the doctor meets another young

  2. Marked by a teacher

    "Catfish" Analysis. This documentary was made by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. Both ...

    It is fascinating to see the use of technology to both cut costs and enhance the film. Rather than using expensive tricks to film a mysterious location the filmmakers use Google Maps to show the street.

  1. Psycho Essay-Shower Scene Analysis. Shot in stark black and white, the film Psycho ...

    The audience are now itching to find out what happens, whether Marion would escape with her boyfriend or give up the money, and as they know that they watching a Alfred Hitchcock movie, they know that there are probably many shocking twists that make his movies so exciting, but perhaps not as shocking as what happens next in the film...

  2. How women are represented in horror films (comparing Scream (1996) to Alien (1979)

    Through them both have the head female roles, Ripley takes control throughout hers and takes the role of the "Action hero" and predominant leader, like the stereotypical male would do. Where as Sidney is more of a victim, simply trying to escape the killer.

  1. comparison between two films

    Capitalist ideologies are presented in the film as the corporations are the powerful influences throughout the city. It could be argued that the fact that Bruce Wayne is wealthy also agrees with the ideology as it insinuates that he would not be able to become the saviour batman without the money and the power that it brings.

  2. 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,

  1. The Representation of Gender in the film "Gran Torino"

    "Tall gang member: This Oriental yummy for me? Don't worry; I'll take good care of her. Sue: Great, another asshole with a fetish for Asian girls. God, it gets so old. Tall gang member: What's your name, girl? Sue: My name? It's 'take your crude, overly obvious come-on to every woman who walks past and cram it.'

  2. A Beautiful Mind Essay. How the director shows the nightmare of schizophrenia.

    Objective point of view would not allow the viewers to understand the schizophrenic mind. If the film were to be shot in the perspective of other characters then the viewers would not believe Nash to be sane.

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