A Plea for Mise en Esprit

In this brief essay for the online journal “In Media Res” I propose the concept of “mise en esprit” as a companion term to “mise en scène” for film studies. Mise en esprit refers to the phenomenon when, provoked by evocative aesthetics, our embodied mind complements mentally what a film affords us suggestively and thereby ‘puts something in our mind.’ Like mise-en-scène analysis, it allows us to look at artistic decisions and styles. If an analysis of the mise en scène combines a close look at what is staged with how it is presented to us, then an analysis of the mise en esprit needs to look into what we imagine alongside how we are made to imagine it. Here is the link to the essay, which also contains hyperlinks to illustrating film clips:


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