The production of films is not just an activity that happens spontaneously but one that undergoes a process of thorough planning before the end-product reaches the audience. The producers of these films and their entire crew normally put a lot of thought about the various techniques to incorporate so as to come up with a fantastic product. It entails the use of color, graphics, mise-en-scene, drama, conformity, class, and lighting among others. One such film that incorporates some of these elements includes All That Heaven Allows by Douglas Sirk. This paper examines how Sirk has used the elements of artificial lighting, color, and mise-en-scene to communicate different messages.

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The use of lighting in the film is one of the powerful things that illuminate the theme and narrative. On several occasions, the artificial lighting conveys the text as opposed to the subtext and thereby Sirk manages to bring out a unique element of the film. For example, the scene when Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson are together having a conversation brings out this element especially in the way the strong vertical lines separate them. A classic illustration is when they do not seem to get along. He uses anti-naturalistic lighting that mind-blowingly emphasizes this kind of separation in more ways than one can imagine. It is hard not to see it. Still, the use of the mirrors is another thing that comes out magnificently especially when breaking up the screen’s surface. A good example is when Cary is beaten into submission, and we end up getting her mirror image from the earlier one when she is with Ron.

The element of color is the other noticeable thing in the film. The combination of colors has been used to convey different angles of the character’s moods and feelings. In the process, this affects other elements such as costumes and lighting. For example, when Cary wore the red dress in the Country Club during a party hosted there, her identity was unique in comparison to other ladies that wore formal dresses adorned with pale colors. The red color also communicated her desires of feeling free and desirable. In essence, Sirk knew how to create the mood by the use of the various colors. He used cold colors such as yellow and blue to communicate depression, oppression, and loneliness. The use of warm colors communicated hope and emotional freedom such as orange and red that Cary wore.

At the same time, the use of mise-en-scene is something that Sirk applied to create a lasting impression on the audience. Beyond color and lighting indicated above, he also applied other elements such as costumes and the emotional aspect of some of the scenes. Often, the audience comes across glistening, treacherous surfaces as well as objects that seem to take a life of their own in a terrifying way. The objective here is to allow the audience to have keener look on the images and draw the actual meanings displayed there. In fact, the whole combination of lighting, color, sets, and costumes leaves a rapturous visual effect in most parts of the melodrama.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that Sirk uses the elements of artificial lighting, color, and mise-en-scene that leaves the audience in a fine state of delirium. It is one artistic method that shows a depth of thought and someone who wanted to engage his audience beyond the conventional means of similar films. The use of fantastic visual elements all combining into one fine mise-en-scene is an unmistakable thing in the film. The various moods and feelings can be seen via visual elements as indicated in the text.