Mephisto- The Green Scene

What an interesting film, to say the least. This film is very well put together and has a very intriguing story of a man obsessed with success and finds meaning in life by turning his back on the people that love him and knows best for him. I loved the shots in this movie, the lighting, and the mise- en -scene.

One scene that stood out was the scene where the German Chancellor brings aside Hendrik Hoefgen. The aura of the scene and the mysterious feel the scene gave off was absolutely marvelous. The green light that is intensified from underneath the players made me realize the irony of Hendrik as Mephisto and the motif of The Chancellor calling him Mephisto when in reality the chancellor is a Mephisto-esque character in the way he deceives Hendrik and by his devilish power.  What made me realize the irony of the film was how the green light made The Chancellor looks like Mephisto. His baldhead, and his pale circular face, is very similar to the demon like character that Hendrik plays. Although, Hendrik plays a demon he has many Faustian characteristics. He is easily persuaded, and manipulated just as the ancient legend of Faust was.

Mephisto, is a movie that plays with the themes and style of the German expressionist movement. The use of makeup, the mise-en-scene, and the lighting are very particular and quite unique. The way the chancellor is portrayed by the green lighting gave me the sign that he is the demon and the actor Hendrik is simply a blind follower who is only motivated by the power of future success and greed.  The lighting is essential in bringing out qualities within the players to emphasize the point of the ironic nature of the film and the themes it identifies.

Also I think the look of Mephisto is used in Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal looks quite similarImageImage

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2 thoughts on “Mephisto- The Green Scene

  1. I thought it was really interesting how you compared the chancellor to character of Mephisto, but after reading your post I was surprised at how similar they are. Whether the irony of the two characters was intentional or not, there’s no denying that the chancellor’s greed, evil ways, and even his looks were just like Mephisto. The green light in this scene also illuminates the character’s faces and makes the atmosphere eerie and strange. I also think that Hendrick was not a likable character in this film because he was so consumed by the power, fame, and success of being an actor and being invited to rich parties with the chancellor that he ignored the people that really cared about him, including his wife. It is hard to sympathize with him when he has this kind of personality. Still, it seemed like he was becoming more and more devilish like Mephisto as the movie progressed.

  2. Throughout the duration of the film, I have to admit that I did space out. The film was so hard for me to put together, but your argument definitely had a basis. I can put together the elements you are talking about, especially the lighting. The ending scene struck me as odd and I was so confused. With the discussion after the film, and with the details you provided through your analysis, I understand now that Hendrik had mistaken his role in life. He envisioned power and thought he was gaining so much fame, but instead he was just a puppet in the schemes of the “villian”. The mise-en-scene allowed for the truth to come to the surface, as you described how Hendrik became Faust and the Chancellor showed resemblance to Mephisto, when in Hendrik’s mind, it was the other way around. This complex idea would have definitely escaped from me.

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