Analyse the Effects Created for the Spectator by the Mise-en-Scene and Camerawork in the Sequence Lynn’s Bedroom “LA Confidential”, directed by Curtis Hanson and co-produced by Brian Helgeland, is a neo-noir film looking at corruption and propaganda influenced by the press (“Hush Hush” magazine) certain aspects of the police force and the high society influence of Mickey Cohen on the Sunset Strip. It only portrays certain elements of Film Noir and in quite a modern fashion when it does.
There is not much smoking in “LA Confidential” as perhaps there is in most Film Noir, however we manage to pick up some elements of disillusionment and paranoia. The femme fatale in this film does not follow the usual rules of a traditional femme fatale although could well be led to believe that she does, towards the beginning. Lynn Bracken – first introduced wearing a black cloak with a white trim around the hood surrounding her face. First impressions suggest that she could be our femme fatale, as black is a colour of corruption and mystery.
We also come across her abode – a large studio-type room, white and stylised. It mimics the background that we would see in a celebrity photo shoot. The bed we see is in the sitting room, which seems to us a strange place for it to be. It is raised up and on a hard, black, wooden stage-like block. The covers are satin and very elegant suggesting an almost fake atmosphere and creating a place where nobody could really be themselves. There are plants in the background, but they are green and spiky and have no flowers.
This suggests even more of a fake atmosphere and insincerity in the room. The rest of this sequence and the mise-en-scene involved portrays no particular feeling of comfort. It is made to look and feel staged as everything from camerawork and lighting, to the props on the set convey a cold, uncomfortable and un-homely image and everything is made very ornate and fragile. It is almost like the movie star Lynn Bracken is impersonating. In the second venture to Lynn’s house we see her letting a customer go followed by half-heartedly tidying up her studio-type room.
This is only the second time we have seen it and the first time it was shown, was giving us a general background on her teaching us that she is a Veronica Lake look-a-like prostitute. There is a knock on the door and she goes to open it. We see her reaction shot for a while before the camera cuts to who she is looking at and we realise it is Bud White. We then move onto the next part if the scene, straight into her bedroom. This is where the mise-en-scene comes into action and we learn more about Lynn as a person.
Lynn opens the door to the room and straight away we see a soft, orange, romantic and homely light making the room warm and inviting and slow, soft and gentle music begins to play allowing us to feel the romanticism of this intimate scene. She stands back and allows him to walk ahead and take in his surroundings, this implying that she is not working now. She looks almost childlike as she stands just beyond the door, and as Bud walk ahead the image is created of her letting him take control and we can see that he portrays a father-type figure.
The camera cuts to a new angle now showing us the bedroom, which Bud has been invited into. Our first impressions are that it is a small room – like someone actually lives there and is not just for show. We see pictures in frames of flowers on the wall, showing a girlie and very normal side to Lynn. It also tells us something about her likes and dislikes. These pictures contrast to the photos of Veronica Lake in her ‘other’ bedroom. The bed is typically American with the real white iron bedposts, maybe not the most tasteful, however it allows us to see her homely and warm side.
We can see net curtains, this suggesting lightness and letting small rays of light into her bedroom, this relating to Bud. There is a lamp stood on a nice wooden bedside table. The camera cuts to a close up point-of-view panning shot. First of all on the table where we can closely see little mis-matching desert plants on a tray, telling us maybe something about her and her background or where she’s from. This is all alongside some cooking books and a wooden carved lamp, with a rather homely doily placed neatly underneath it.
Suggesting maybe her grandmother had made it, all adding further to the homeliness and comfort of her room. The camera pans further across to the bed where there are cotton sheets, unlike the ‘moviestar’ satin sheets in Lynn’s studio, these cotton sheets absorb and soak in the atmosphere surrounding this room rather that harshly reflecting it back as do the satin cushions in the studio. This keeps reinforcing the idea of how normal she is. We see a homemade cushion on the bed, this telling us as an audience and to Bud, that she is an ordinary country girl from Arizona as this is what is hand embroidered on the cushion.
This is important for us to know, as we can now presume that the Lynn Bracken, who lives in this bedroom, is completely different from the Veronica Lake look-a-like that we have previously met. In the background to this we can see the floral patterned cushions in pinks and yellows. These are very warm and homely colours, thus suggesting to us that this I s a very warm and homely place denied of all corruption that would take place in Lynn’s ‘Veronica Lake room’. Lynn goes to sit down on the bed and lowers her head as if she is ashamed, now that she has shown Bud her real self.
Bud comforts her by kissing her forehead and embracing her, which, is very father and child-like behaviour, relating back to earlier when she first let him into her room. This subsequently reverses her usual behaviour in these situations as usually she would be the person in charge, however when we see her letting Bud take control, it just reminds us even more of the contrast between her work personality and her real personality. As they kiss and she lays back on the bed, the bars of the now come between us as the viewer and them implying that we are now being intrusive and this is too personal and intimate for us to see.
We now begin to realise that Bud and Lynn are two damaged souls and have found each other in this intimate and gentle moment. This scene is made meaningful by its strong contrast to the show-‘Veronica Lake’-room. In conclusion we can see that through mise-en-scene Lynn Bracken’s two very different sides and lives can be shown. It is all simply illustrated in props and scenery specially allocated to help the audience conjure up their own important perspectives. Thus making the rest of the film more meaningful in itself and allowing the audience to understand it better.