Mise-en-Scene: Fight Club

Mise-en-scene literally translates to “putting into a scene.” It is the manner in which a directer stages a scene that creates the look and feel of the image, contributing to the overall film. There are four elements of mise-en-scene: setting, lighting, costume, and behavior. In the movie Fight Club, main character (unnamed) meets Tyler Durden, who introduces to him the idea of a fight club. Both work together to create an entire culture around this club. It is later revealed in the film that the two characters as separate is actually deceiving. Regardless of the plot twist, it is interesting to analyze Fight Club from a phenomenological standpoint, particularly in the scene where Durden and the main character initially start the trend that will become the club.

Fight Club: Hit Me

Phenomenology is the study of how something effects the senses. Vivian Sobchack describes the theory as a body experiencing digital and analog forms in different ways. It is all about the body experience, and Sobchack refers to this as a lived body experience. Here, I want to take a look at the four aspects of mise-en-scene and how they are received at the body through macroperception (larger contextual level of body) rather than microperception (specific ways in which the body is affected).

Setting

Lighting:

Costume:

Behaviors:

Fight Club is a bodily experience when being watched because of the way the movie captures you before the unexpected plot twist. Everything is precisely calculated as to better engage the viewer to believe all that is happening right up until the plot twist, and this establishing scene of what will be the relationship between Durden and the main character is important for those reasons. This fully engrosses the audience in a phenomenological way to be done effectively.

Posted: September 29, 2014
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