Our guest blogger, Paris Wong from Hertfordshire University, came to our screenings for Mettre en Scene today. Here’s his impressions:
Today is the screening day of all the student films from this year’s Le Cinéma, Cent Ans de Jeunesse. This year’s theme was mise-en-sence, and the students were asked to explore all sorts of elements regarding to mise-en-scene, from colour, to camera shots, to music.
This morning we screened all the secondary schools’ student films. Those were some amazing works, I believe the future BAFTA and Oscar winning filmmakers were sitting inside the cinema. Their works were inspired by various media forms, from silent films, to foreign film, to novels, it was really interesting to see how these students took their inspirations and made them into something completely refreshing and creative.
A short Q&A session was followed after the screening of each film, and the students were able to answer the audiences’ questions professionally and it occurred to me that quite a lot of the creative decisions were not made deliberately, but when you’re forced to make snap decisions during filming, they turned out to be the most amazing ideas.
I was exceptionally impressed with the first film, which was inspired by Wong Kar Wai’s In The Mood For Love, the use of music, the confined space, which heightens the tension between the male and female lead, along with the use of slow motion, the film was simply brilliantly done.
In the afternoon, all the primary schools’ student films were shown. Similar to the secondary schools’ screening, a short Q&A session was followed after each screening. Unfortunately, due to time limit, we were not able to do Q&A sessions for the final 8 films screened, but we will soon be uploading information about each film, so everyone would still have a chance to see the films again, and to ask questions regarding to the creative choices or filming process of the films.
One of the films, Trapped, really got me thinking. I didn’t have a chance to talk to the students about the film but when I was watching the film, I realised there was a lot of red, from costumes to props, to the set. The film is about an animal/monster being unleashed into a school and it is trying to get the two girls. Whether the use of red was done intentionally to signify danger, or it just happened to have a lot of red objects around the school, the use of red surely makes a huge difference.
The camera shots were done so subtly, the audience never get to see what the animal/monster was, but there were quite a few shots of the camera shooting from the outside the gate, hinting that something/someone was looking from the outside. I was exceptionally impressed with a shot where the camera jumps from outside the gate into the school. I thought it was done entirely by one person, where the cameraman/woman jumped through the gate, but it was revealed at the Q&A that it was actually done by two people, the camera was handed to the second person when it entered the school and the second person just kept moving towards to school.
Overall, the student films were really high quality films, I was really impressed with each and single one of them, and that put my little short film into shame. I would like to congratulate all the participating students for completing this year’s Le Cinéma, Cent Ans de Jeunesse,I hope you all have learnt a lot about films, film making and other film-related knowledge. I look forward to see many more amazing films at next year’s screening.