Assignment 1

In this scene of Hero (Yimou Zhang, 2002) two of the main characters are fighting against each other at a local Chess House, after Nameless, a prefect from the county of Leng Meng in the Qin Kingdom, wants to place Sky, who is accused of having attempted an assassination of the King of Qin, under arrest. Nameless shows up after Sky had already defeated the seven masters of Qin Palace who were there to place him under arrest as well.
The use of colour is one example of how mise-en-scène is used to create meaning and continuity in this film. For instance, the unity of Nameless with the King and even the Kingdom is depicted by him wearing a black colour robe and headband as he fights Sky, who in turn wears yellow, a bright colour depicting his non-conformance. Black in this case represents the colour of the kingdom, as previously the palace and the King himself were shown to be wearing black. Furthermore, the guards and the musician, as well as the chess house are in dark colours.
In addition to the colours used, lighting and weather also play an important role and often even complement each other in creating a certain ambiance for the scene. The rain, in this particular scene, signifies the importance, the earnestness of the moment and contributes to the setting at the chess house. The top lighting used to supplement the natural lighting, helps create the mood for this scene by not making it too bright or too dark. Another aspect that is observable is when they fight in their minds, to distinguish the real world from their own one, the pictures are shot in black and white, thus creating a separate world. Lighting can also be used to emphasise objects during the black and white scenes. This is mainly seen with the weapons used for fighting or the characters’ facial expressions, which stand out more than their surroundings or costumes, which aren’t as brightly lit and therefore diminishing its emphasis to the same extent as used props.
This also...