Week 2 Post

In the text Film: From watching to seeing, Bill Goodykoontz and Christopher Jacobs attribute mise en scène to a French term borrowed from the theater as meaning what is “placed in the scene.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, P. 106) The filmmakers carefully choose and place everything in a scene to tell the story to the audience in ways that do not require dialogue to explain anything. As with such tangible things such as scenery and props; the intensity and direction of lighting will influence how an image is perceived by the viewer, and it can establish or enforce particular themes. Nearly all films draw on one or more of the three major types of lighting; high-key, low-key  and three-point lighting. Most scenes of most movies fall somewhere in between the extremes of high-key and low-key lighting, yet the film 2001: A Space Odyssey provides examples of all three major types.

The film uses high-key lighting extensively throughout. “A high-key lighting design has very bright light over everything, with few shadows and relatively low contrast between the lightest and darkest parts of the scene. This style of lighting is typical of comedies, happy scenes, institutional and office scenes, and the like. “(Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, P. 138) Scenes from the US Lunar outpost terminal are flooded with light from the floor to the ceiling, punctuated only with a bright red seating arrangement. Evenly distributed light from many different angles results in minimal shadows from the people and furniture in the room. At the end of the film, when Bowman returns to what appears to be a laboratory setting back on earth the set is once again flooded with light from the floor to the ceiling. Even the floor itself appears to be illuminated. Both scenes give the audience a sense of clinical institutionalism. See photos and video below.

2001-09

[Untitled illustration of Dr. Floyd aboard US Lunar Outpost] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from:http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121113020234/althistory/images/c/c1/

2001SpaceOdyssey133

[Untitled illustration of Bowman as middle aged] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: http://thechaselounge.net/showthread.php?p=28770

Beyond the Infinite [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GLZdnR7Nkus

The film uses low-key lighting extensively, as well. In contrast to high-key lighting, a low-key lighting design looks dark overall. “It is marked by extreme use of deep shadows, with very high contrast between the brightest parts of the scene and the darkest parts, which are obscured in shadows. Often there may be only a single source of light, coming from the back or the side of the main characters. Low-key lighting is often used for intense dramatic scenes, horror films, mystery thrillers, and the like. However, most scenes of most movies fall somewhere in between these extremes of high-key and low-key lighting.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, P. 138) In the beginning of the film during the dawn of man, the early hominids are filmed extensively in low light, especially in the night time cave scene. Scenes around the excavated monolith on the moon are very dark, for the most part. Further, there are multiple instances aboard various space craft and shuttles which are filmed in low light, to include the US Lunar shuttle and Discovery One. This permeating darkness amplifies the dramatic effect of the scenes. See photos and video below.

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[Untitled illustration of Cave] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://angasongtagaandalusia.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey-a-highly-philosophical-and-transcendent-work-that-awakens-the-human-mind/

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[Untitled illustration of Aboard US Lunar shuttle] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from:https://angasongtagaandalusia.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey-a-highly-philosophical-and-transcendent-work-that-awakens-the-human-mind/

The Monolith On The Moon [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU4Rk0NATNs&feature=player_detailpage

The third type of lighting; three-point lighting is used sparingly throughout the film. “Three-point lighting A lighting style based upon three primary sources of light, a bright key light and slightly dimmer fill light to the upper right and left sides of the camera, aiming at the subject to create a three-dimensional appearance with soft shadows, and a back light placed behind the subject and aimed at its back to create a rim of light that separates it from the background.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, P. 138) Scenes of David and Frank sitting inside a pod aboard the Discovery One discussing Hal uses three-point lighting, lending a halo appearance to both occupants. In the final scenes of the film during the evolution of the star-child, Stanley Kubrick is replicating the visual ambiance with special effects the star-child that he achieved with the earlier scenes David and Frank sitting inside a pod. This is intended to lend a feeling of divinity to both scenes. See photos and video below.
2001-19

[Untitled illustration of I’ve got a bad feeling about this] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

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[Untitled illustration of Star-baby] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from:https://angasongtagaandalusia.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey-a-highly-philosophical-and-transcendent-work-that-awakens-the-human-mind/

The Monolith On The Moon [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1s-PiIbzbhw

References for week 2

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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