Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hungry for Mise-en-scène...

No it's not some exotic soup, though we all know I am a bit of a foodie...I'm talking about The Hunger Games. No, I will not spoil anything for those who have not had the chance to see it yet. I'd like to think I will enhance your viewing experience, if I do say so myself. This will just be a short post and I hope it gives you something interesting to look for when you do venture out to the theater. 

I just saw The Hunger Games this afternoon at a Moms (Mums) and Bubs showing and without giving anything away, I felt compelled to share my particular love for the film's Mise-en-scène. What exactly is Mise-en-scène? Pretty much, it is a word that encompasses a film's visual or design aspects. 

From the very start, the costumery and styling used in The Hunger Games brings so much life and emotion to the story. This becomes especially apparent in the contrast between the people from the districts and those from the Capitol. The best example of this is seen in the main character, Katniss and that of Effie Trinket, though I am mostly focusing on Effie.

Effie and the others from the Capitol look exaggerated, garish, plastic, and decaying, which captures their inhumane and animal-like nature. This seems so fitting for a group of people who are entertained by watching youth fight to the death as an olympic sport.  

In addition to the Mise-en-scène, the cinematography also builds the characters of The Hunger Games. Effie Trinket is often filmed in close up shots which makes her appear looming, ruthless, and larger than life. 

This similar style was also used in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho to capture the characters that were meant to be obviously intimidating or posed a threat to Marion, such as Tom Cassidy and the police officer. 

I haven't read The Hunger Games books yet but it is always interesting to see how filmmakers translate the emotion and style of a book to the screen. It is also amazing how such attention to detail can either make or break the story. For those of you who have seen or plan to see The Hunger Games, I would love to hear your thoughts on the film.



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wonderful Windswept Weekend

Yes, I like alliteration. You can ask my husband; they usually start with the letter, "p" and they are usually about him (ex: "Pardon me Pastor..." or Patience Please Pastor.") but that is another story...

This past weekend was windswept because much of New Zealand's North Island experienced a "weather bomb." The crazy wind and rain almost put a damper on the wonderful part however, as in many great stories, love conquered in the end. 

As I've mentioned before, Rhys has an amazing natural talent for photography and he is always seeking opportunities to add to his skills and repertoire. A few weeks ago, he put out an offer to friends on Twitter to do a couple/family photo shoot for the first person to comment, which turned out to be our legendary friends, Kevin and Kirsten. Although Rhys is the photographer in the family, I went along under the premise of prop carrier and assistant creative director. I must say I felt pretty pleased with myself. 

I say "premise" since the real reason I wanted to be there was because Kevin had something very special in mind; little did Kirsten know that this wasn't just a couples photo shoot, but an engagement shoot.

Aren't they a lovely couple? Kevin, we loved being in cahoots with you and thank you both for letting us be apart of your special day.