Friday, 4 October 2013

Mrs Hammond Dining Scene Analysis

In this essay i will be discussing the mise on scene (Everything on scene) for the dining scene from the movie American Beauty, the one which Lester throws the dish at the wall.

Firstly i will talk about the lighting. The lighting for the dining scene is mainly lit by candle light. This connotes that it was a romantic dinner, and creates an atmosphere of romance, and a dark background slightly lit by background lighting is to put the focus is on the dinner table and characters.

Next, is props. The props which stood out were the candles on the table, this connotes again a romantic theme to the scene. The table was set out nicely which still goes with the romantic theme. On the left side, which Carolyn was sitting at there (what looks like) a glass of wine which is classy, and again goes with the theme of a romantic dinner. But on the other side however Lester is drinking a bottle of beer, this doesn't really flow with the classy, romantic dinner.

Carolyn, Carolyn is at the table sitting up straight so from this i connote that she is classy/cares about how she is perceived. Also her wrists are not touching the table which also connotes that shes classy. However Lester is the opposite of Carolyn, he is hunched over his dinner, with one hand on his fork and one hand on his beer. This connotes that he's a bit of a slob. Then we see that Jane comes to the dinner table, therefore ruining the whole romantic atmosphere and turning it into a family meal. Carolyn for most of this scene is smiling, being sarcastic, this connotes that's she likes to be in charge and enjoys criticising others.  Jane comes in with an emotionless expression on her face, i would connote that she didn't enjoy the "Traditional" family meal. When Carolyn was being patronising and belittling Lester in front of Jane. Lester's response wasn't to defend himself or ask her to stop he asked her to pass the asparagus, which defiantly seems like he doesn't care what anyone else thinks of him apart from him. At the start of the scene, Carolyn was the one in charge, doing most of the talking/nagging, with the loudest voice. But towards the end of the scene it flips over to Lester being the leader of the conversation, and being the dominant one throwing the plate at the wall in order to gain dominance, also to get a say in the conversation that Carolyn was having. Lester throughout the scene remained calm, even though his actions seem dramatic and in anger. Jane was quiet throughout this scene.

The costume which Carolyn was wearing was formal, this still goes along with the idea that she is a classy person and cares about how people perceive her. Carolyn looks like she is wearing heels, at her own dinner table. This connotes that she always likes to look her best and again cares about how she is being perceived. Lester's costume is a very casual costume, an open buttoned shirt with a white t-shirt and jeans, this still goes with how he is being perceived as a slob. Jane is also very casual, hair tied back,wearing a baggy wooly jumper which connotes that she would rather be comfortable than look good. Jane is sitting up straight but is wearing comfortable clothes, which connotes that she is taking habits from both parents.

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