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HIMALA

An analysis on the mise-en-scene of the Bernal’s Himala


Time Analyzed: (42:54-44:54)

Submitted by:
Narciso, Marek, Tanso, Bayudan, Go, Dizon
Review: What is mise en scéne?

Just as the cinematographer uses the


language of the camera to help tell the story,

The teams creating the mise en scene


structure the set and the actors in specific
ways to bring the director’s vision to life.
Review: What is mise en scéne?
They build a world.

Everything on set has been masterfully


crafted and thought out.

To serve a purpose or to establish a


specific atmosphere in the film.
Can be reflected in the following

Lighting
& Framing
Can be reflected in the following

Props
Can be reflected in the following

Wardrobe
& Costume
Can be reflected in the following

Wardrobe & Costume


Reflects who they are.

Not only conveys things to the


audience, but it makes the actors
embody who they are acting to be.
Scene Analysis
The Use of Props
• The use of the signage “Heaven”
• Implications on who resides in Heaven and
why this is significant later on
The Contrast
Between Elsa and
Nimia as Mary
Wardrobe: The Color
Blue
“When viewing Christian art from the past
thousand years or so, there is one color
that is almost always associated with the
Blessed Virgin Mary: blue (Kosloki, 2017).”
Wardrobe: The Color Blue
• Marian blue, as the shade has become known,
became the Madonna’s official color with the rise
of Mariology and the cult of the Virgin.
• Blue in iconography represents transcendence,
mystery, and the divine. It is the color of the
sky and as a result is viewed as a heavenly
color.
Wardrobe: The Color Blue
• Biblical Roots: “Priestly garments were to include
some blue, as well as altar cloths that covered the
Ark of the Covenant and other sacred vessels in
the tabernacle (Num 4:6-12). “
• For the people of Israel blue brings to mind the
following of God’s Commandments, as opposed
to a person’s selfish will.
Wardrobe: The Color Blue
• In addition to the cultural significance, the color blue
later took on a financial significance.
• During the Middle Ages, European artists began
importing lapis lazuli from present-day
Afghanistan. It was very expensive, so the color
was reserved to either angels or the Blessed
Virgin Mary.
• In addition to the cultural significance, the color blue
later took on a financial significance.
Framing
• Establishes a sense of balance within the
film.
• The cut scene was initially supposed to be
so they could hide take the shots
separately. They decided not to do this to
capture the authenticity of their reactions.
The Use of Magic
• Parallels Elsa’s mysticism in her miracles
• Even initially, Nimia’s return coincides
with the booming miracle crusade.
Nimia is presented as Elsa’s opposite
especially due to the promiscuous
nature of her work.
The Use of Magic
• Together with her bold return to Cupang after
leaving as an outcast, Nimia’s interaction in this
scene illustrates that she has no intention of playing
this role again. She asserts herself even to the
purest of individuals, the children.
• In contrast to the view of being inferior to men, she
used her body so that she would be treated as a
goddess.
Lighting: The Use of
Sunset
• According to Ricky Lee, the screenwriter of Himala,
when he was looking for directors he was looking
for someone that could create something that
resembled the European films he was watching.
• “I wanted something more Goddard, Bergman,
Truffaut…”
Lighting: The Use of
Sunset
• The scene gives homage to the “dance
of death” scene found in Bergman’s
“The Seventh Seal” (1958)
Props: Mantle
• The white mantle reference to Our Lady of
Grace – an iconic image of the Virgin Mary
especially of Marian Apparitions.
Lighting: The Use of Sunset
• “The golden orange hue of the natural lighting clothes
her in divinized radiance. The children are fascinated
and mesmerized. In this sequence, Nimia is portrayed
as Elsa's shadow.
Lighting: The Use of Sunset
• The image of Nimia as Mary is in contrast to the initial view
of the audience of Elsa being the representative of Mary.
• The commodification of “miracles” (Elsa) and the selling of
flesh (Nimia) are contrasted but are ultimately the same.
• They are both whores. They both have the same function,
they have the same dynamics. In this manner, they are also
both Marys. The use of shadows visually blurs the differences
between Elsa and Nimia. They are one and the same.
References
Sison, A. D. (2004). Himala: the temptress, the virgin, and the elusive miracle. CrossCurrents, 48-64.

Cinema One. (2004). Himala ngayon.

Ancheta, J. R. (2016). Dissecting The Image of Elsa Towards Semiotic Reading of The Philippine Classic Film ‘Himala’.
Jurnal Komunikasi: Malaysian Journal of Communication. 32. 770-789. 10.17576/JKMJC-2016-3202-37.

Kosloski, P. (2017, June 24). Why is the Blessed Virgin Mary always wearing blue? Retrieved from https://aleteia.org/
2017/06/24/why-is-the-blessed-virgin-mary-always-wearing-blue/

Mary and the Importance of the Color Blue. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.coraevans.com/blog/article/mary-and-
the-importance-of-the-color-blue