Creating Meaning through Interpretations: A Mise-En-Scene Analysis of the Film ‘The Song of Sparrows’

Jayakrishnan Sreekumar 1 *
More Detail
1 Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 5, Issue September 2015 - Special Issue, pp. 26-35.
OPEN ACCESS   2844 Views   6332 Downloads   Published online: 01 Sep 2015
Download Full Text (PDF)


Cinema is a mass medium and it stimulates experiences in its pursuit to put across ideas and perceptions (Acker, 1991). Filmmakers adopt different ways to transfer their thoughts and perceptions to the audience. Elements like décor, lighting, space, costumes and acting, which can be collectively referred to as mise-en-scene, play a crucial role in creating mood and meaning to the shots (Barsam and Monahan, 2010). Specific scenes from the Iranian film ‘The Song of Sparrows’ are identified to discuss each of the five elements and their importance in the storyline and its possible effects on the audience are analyzed using content analysis. The paper concludes that meanings can be created through the interpretation of these five mise-en-scene elements. A close observation and analysis of these elements in the film could lead to a much enhanced film-watching experience.


Sreekumar, J. (2015). Creating Meaning through Interpretations: A Mise-En-Scene Analysis of the Film ‘The Song of Sparrows’. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 5(September 2015 - Special Issue), 26-35.


  • Acker, A. (1991). ‘Reel Women: Pioneers of the Cinema, 1896 to the Present’. New York: Continuum.
  • Barsam, R. M. and Monahan, D. (2010). ‘Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film’. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Bordwell, D. and Thompson, K. (2003). ‘Film Art: An Introduction, 7th edition’. New York: McGraw–Hill.
  • Cassidy, K. (2013). ‘How to effectively use in negative space in your shots’. Videomaker Magazine.
  • Gibbs, J. (2002). ‘Mise-en-scene: Film Style and Interpretation’. Wallflower Press: London
  • Hodsdon, B. (1992). ‘The mystique of mise en scene revisited’. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies. Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Kolker, R. (1999). ‘Mise-En-Scene’. Film, Form and Culture. McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Meisner, S. (1987). ‘Sanford Meisner on Acting’. Random House Inc.
  • Monaco, J. (2009). ‘How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia: Language, History, Theory, 4th edition’. Oxford University Press: London
  • Moura, G. (2014). ‘Mise-en-Scene: Elements of’. A student’s guide to the fundamentals of filmmaking.
  • Pierson, I. (2010). ‘Mise-en-scene’. College Film and Media Studies: A Reference Guide.
  • Preston, W. (1994). ‘What an Art Director Does: An Introduction to Motion Picture Production Design’. Silman-James Press, U.S.
  • Redmond, S. (2014). ‘Explainer: mise-en-scene’. The Conversation: Academic rigour, journalistic flair.
  • Richards, S. (2014). ‘Film Scene Analysis: Cinematography and Mise-en-scene in American Beauty’. Longzijun: Works and Words.
  • Snyder, S. and Curle, H. (2000). ‘Vittorio De Sica: contemporary perspectives’. University of Toronto Press.
  • Stella, B. (1997). ‘Undressing Cinema: Clothing and Identity in the Movies’. Routledge: New York.
  • ‘The Film Sufi: Devoted to the Discussion of Film Expressionism’ (2010).