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Mise en scène Film Review: SecretLairs

Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus is a psychological drama made in 1947 and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The story revolves around a group of nuns who have been located in the Himalayas to set up a school and hospital for children. They attempt to adapt to the exotic surroundings however they become increasingly seduced by it, aswell as the British agent Mr Dean.

Fig.1

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Mise en scène Film Review: SecretLairs

"Color is almost like an added element of nature in this opera; it signals change, hence the colorful transformations of the season"(Rich, 2010) Colour defines the film throughout, and is seen as reflection upon the characters. The transformation of colours of which is expressed change dramatically as the nuns enter the town in the Himalayas. The bright exotic colours which reflect the culture is heavily contrasted with the dull grey, white and black colours that was shown in the surroundings of their first location. This colour change reflects upon their sudden emotional change to their new surroundings, which is later expressed through the nun’s insanity. This is shown later through the red lighting specifically to signify the emotions of sister Ruth. As seen in fig 2, sister Ruth starts to express the jealousy she has upon Sister clodaghs relationship of Mr Dean, which is seen through the intensive glare she is giving.

Fig.3

The character of sister Ruth could be seen as a representation of sister Clodagh. As DC mentions. ‘Another nun, Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron), who we know is ‘sick’, is a violent cauldron of conflicting desires and acts as a mirror to Sister Clodagh’s repression. Their relationship contributes to the film’s most terrifying, artful scenes at its dramatic close’ (DC, 2005) This quote can be seen through fig.3, as both characters sit exactly opposite each other which could convey the meaning of selfreflection, particularly the self reflection of Sister Clodaph upon Sister Ruth.

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Mise en scène Film Review: SecretLairs

Illustrations  Fig 1. http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbnid =UjBFUtueRFeJqM:&imgrefurl=http://thefilmemporium.blogspot.com/2011/10/classicthrowback-blacknarcissus.html&docid=yHt7xblXAnUJnM&imgurl=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uFuWObYtFE/TpUZu1bEF9I/AAAAAAAADbk/tBGGTmbnHDY/s1600/blacknarcissus.jpg&w=1473&h=1080&ei=40fJUIz2Gsel0QW16oGwCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=319 &sig=101173468274702699087&page=1&tbnh=135&tbnw=194&start=0&ndsp=27&ved=1t: 429,r:7,s:0,i:103&tx=117&ty=13 Fig.2 http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&tbo=d&biw=1366&bih=632&tbm=i sch&tbnid=Cq8bCzvKB_sslM:&imgrefurl=http://www.theartsdesk.com/film/dvd-releaseblacknarcissus&docid=UJOa8x7UMVPk5M&imgurl=http://www.theartsdesk.com/sites/default/fil es/imagecache/mast_image_landscape/mastimages/de419eebc85959410ee19fa8f0a00919. jpg&w=800&h=533&ei=pHnGUJD1Laer0AWl24HwCw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=5&sig=101173 468274702699087&page=1&tbnh=128&tbnw=211&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:0,i:1 05&tx=124&ty=122 Fig. 3 http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbnid =ChWHGEt_8dw2rM:&imgrefurl=http://www.theartsdesk.com/film/dvd-release-blacknarcissus&docid=UJOa8x7UMVPk5M&imgurl=http://www.theartsdesk.com/sites/default/fil es/images/stories/FILM/graham_fuller/Black_Narcissus_lipstick_scene.jpg&w=300&h=229& ei=c0TJUIbFC6y20QXeioDICQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=287&sig=101173468274702699087&p age=1&tbnh=140&tbnw=177&start=0&ndsp=27&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:82&tx=68&ty=97 Fig. 4 http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&tbo=d&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch &tbnid=d0VcQw6waYxNOM:&imgrefurl=http://chillingscenesofdreadfulvillainy.blogspot.co m/2009/07/daughters-of-darkness-part-2madness.html&docid=wrW6XQaHcmQNCM&imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_96uP6vDZ MT8/Sli0cbpyHnI/AAAAAAAABpk/1CPB5sb6rRk/s400/BLACK%252BNARCISSUS1.jpg&w=400 &h=302&ei=20LJUJ6WMc3J0AWDu4HIBw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=4&sig=101173468274702 699087&page=4&tbnh=146&tbnw=207&start=85&ndsp=29&ved=1t:429,r:87,s:0,i:378&tx=1 72&ty=73

Bibliography   (DC, 2005) http://www.timeout.com/film/reviews/67935/black-narcissus.html *Rich, Jamie R. (2010) http://www.criterionconfessions.com/2010/07/black-narcissus93.html

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