Monday, November 14, 2011

Blow My Mind, Again!!!

Two weeks ago I took this photo below--I was in Silver Lake, Los Angeles on a butterfly business trip. It's was divine timing and perfect lighting for this photo. I was so happy, especially because photographing graffiti is one of my hobbies. Days later, I went to my friend's house in Mendocino California. I walked past her office, and this photo below was on her computer screen. And yes, "Blow My Mind" is exactly what happened to me. I asked her how she got it, and she said it was being spread around the Internet-she didn't know it was my photo. :-) HA HA HA :-) I love it! Pure synchronicity reflecting and telling me "Yes lady, you are on your path. Keep flapping those butterfly wings." I love confirmations in the material world, especially when it comes in the form of spreading beautiful images along the way. So have you seen this photo running around the Internet lately? ;-)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Reading the Mise-En-Scene of My Life: Film Geeks & Mystics Are Welcome

My life is like a movie. No, really--it is. And I'm sure you agree with me if you've been following the stories of this blog. One of my favorite activities in my life movie is to be highly aware of my surroundings. How does it all look? What is my environment trying to tell me? How do the colors and arrangement of objects effect and reflect my being? Some may call this feng shui--especially when someone decorates their home. Others may call it awareness or the universal mirror because you can always, somehow, see yourself in the world and the people you attract.

Now I want to talk about this thing called Mise-En-Scene that I learned about last year in my film appreciation class. And yes, this will all tie together in a pretty little bow at the end. Brace yourself...

"Mise-en-scène (French pronunciation: [mizɑ̃sɛn] "placing on stage") is an expression used to describe the design aspects of a theatre or film production, which essentially means "visual theme" or "telling a story"—both in visually artful ways... For some, it refers to all elements of visual style—that is, both elements on the set and aspects of the camera. For others, such as U.S. film critic Andrew Sarris, it takes on mystical meanings related to the emotional tone of a film."-Wikipedia.

In short, Mise-en-scene, as described by my professor, means the look and feel of the film. Within the look and feel, there are visual elements that can point to the feelings and events of the film. The visuals tell a story. I like to call it film feng shui. The arrangement of everything visual can create a certain feel or energy. The look and feel can reflect who a character is.

For example, a director may reflect a character's chaotic emotions by designing a scene in a house where everything is messy and out of place. In a hypothetical scene, let's say that a man is hiding something from his wife--the director always shows the man in the shadows when he's on camera. When the man comes clean with his wife, the truth is reflected in the mise-en-scene because he is well-lit and surrounded in light.

Mise-en-scene can also be used to foreshadow events. The Shining is one of my favorite examples of this, in the scene (watch if you dare) where Halloran talks to Danny about his psychic abilities. Halloran starts to prod Danny about what he sees in the future of the Overlook Hotel. The scene is erie, and it's obvious that whatever is coming won't be pretty. When Danny asks "Halloran, are you scared of this place?" the knives appear above his head--notice the knives above Danny's head in the picture below. They foreshadow the horror that is to come, and one of those knives will be used later in the story.

And this is how mise-en-scene happens in my life...

For the Love of Graffiti

So I have something that I haven't mentioned on my blog before. I LOVE Graffiti. It's one of my favorite art forms. I look for it everywhere in the world. I think I'm attracted to it because it's the art of the people--it's something that typically isn't trying to win prestige or money. It makes political, social, conscious and spiritual statements. I think a part of my passion for it comes from the fact that I spent a chunk of my childhood in New York, where graffiti is wonderfully rampant. I remember seeing it as a small child--especially on the side of the tracks, factories, and broken down train cars when I would ride on the Long Island Railroad.

Right now I'm on a work trip to LA and it's one of my favorite places for street art. I recently took some great shots here: