Mise-En-Scene Analysis of the Sixth Sense

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The opening scene of The Sixth Sense (1999) can tell us an abundance of information, hints and clues towards the narrative expectations throughout the rest of the film via the use of Mise-En-Scène. The first scene involves the powering up of a light bulb within a dark setting. There are multiple ways in which this can be interpreted. This could be suggestive of enlightenment, the sudden understanding of an idea as shown at multiple points during the film. When Dr Malcolm Crowe recognises Vincent Grey, When he realises that Vincent grey and Cole Sear have similar abilities in being able to see dead people and the main revelation at learning of his own death. It sets up the narrative link early on to the characters being almost literally ‘in the Dark’. This opening image alone sets up and mirrors one of the main motifs of the entire film. Another central part to setting the scene is the underlying theme of temperature. Which consistently appears throughout the film, most notably; during the scenes involving supernatural encounters with Cole, Malcom and Anne putting on knitwear, when Malcom is with his sleeping wife, Vincent’s figure expression in the Bathroom and when Anne is down in the basement. The combination of the voyeuristic camera work, the use of low-key lighting to create contrast, the intentional use of a cast shadow coupled with the use of figure expression of shivering to denote the apparent cold temperature, also to underpin the mysterious, eerie and supernatural qualities of the film. These elements also hint to a latter scene by manifesting a sense of paranoia which turns out to not be justified later in the opening sequence. It becomes apparent that Malcolm and Anne have a good solid relationship. The figure expression highlights the physical contact, the proximity they share when sitting down, the intimate physical contact and even how she

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