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Essay on The Film The Matrix

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In the film The Matrix (1999) in the scene “The Two Pills” help characters and relationships are developed and continuation of the films narrative through various components of cinematography and mise-en-scène. Most notable in The Matrix is the use of costuming, sound effects, props, setting and camera movement. Through the use of these techniques the audience becomes more involved in the narrative as Neo meets Morpheus for the first time and is given the opportunity to learn the secrets of the matrix.
Mise-en-scène according to Dix (2008) is the visual elements that make up a scene. Costume in this scene is an important component of mise-en-scène, as it displays the contrast between Morpheus and Neo’s characters. Piatti-Farnell (2013) stresses the symbolic value of costume in cinema, and its effect on characterisation and the relationship between a character and its audience. Morpheus once lived as a human in the matrix, he wears mostly black, including full length a leather trench coat, mirrored sunglasses and black combat boots. Street (2001) talks of costumes power to make individuals stand out and to show an individual’s affiliation to a group. Although we are first meeting Morpheus, we are able to establish a lot about his character. As we can link him to the matrix, and his coat makes us feel fearful of his authority and power. Due to leather jackets and their connotations to biker gangs. Later the significance of these black trench coats is understood, as they are also worn by all those in the matrix. Gills (2005) believes costumes in this film are vital to both the characters in the film and the audience, as they aid them differentiating between the real and the manufactured world. This can be seen later on, as when Neo...


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Hayward, S. (2006). Cinema studies: the key concepts (3rd ed.). London: Routledge.
Lacey, N. (2005). Film Language. Introduction to film (pp. 16-22). Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Piatti-Farnell, L. (2013). In the Guise of Character: Costumes, Narrative, and the Reality of Artifice in Thelma & Louise. The culture and philosophy of Ridley Scott (pp. 231-243). United States: Lexington Books.
Pramaggiore, M., & Wallis, T. (2005). Film: a critical introduction. London: Laurence King.
Spadoni, R. (1999). The Figure Seen from the Rear, Vitagraph, and the Development of Shot/Reverse Shot. Film History, 11, 319-341.
Starmans, C., & Bloom, P. (2012). Windows to the soul: Children and adults see the eyes as the location of the self. Cognition, 123(2), 313-318.
Street, S. (2001). Costume and cinema: dress codes in popular film. London: Wallflower.



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