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Film/Media: Using Mise En Scène Analysis To Unlock The Different Gothics Of Moon & Ex Machina With Dr Geraint D’Arcy From University of East Anglia

20th September 2023 @ 15:35 - 16:20

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In this live and interactive Film/Media online event, Dr Geraint D’Arcy, Lecturer in Media Practice in the School of Art, Media and American Studies at UEA, will present Using mise en scène analysis to unlock the different gothics of Moon and Ex Machina.

This session will explore Moon (2009) and Ex Machina (2014). It aims to show how something that looks like a straightforward science fiction film set in the future, hides a much older, darker and mysterious set of conventions and codes by analysing the mise en scène.

Broadly speaking, the Gothic in literature and media can be divided into two types:  The horrifying male Gothic and the terrifying female gothic.  One is about death and destruction and is filled with monsters and the supernatural, the other is about the real life monsters and the destruction of the mind. Some stories are about beasts and stitched together monsters, some are about doors you should never open but are given the key to them anyway.

In literature it is often not surprising to find gothic elements in all sorts of novels that either don’t date from the 1800s or are particularly horror-based in terms of narrative. It is not too unusual to see science fiction movies draw on elements of gothic in terms of design: the cathedral like spires of a space ship or the darkened corridors where xenomorphs lurk are part and parcel of horror films set in space. It is quite unusual to discover that two films like Ex Machina and Moon both brightly lit, clean-looking science fiction films, are thoroughly gothic texts that starkly manifest the differences between male and female gothic in their narrative and design.

This is a door we probably shouldn’t open though. The key to it is mise en scène.


Lecturer Profile (Please Click): Dr Geraint D’Arcy



Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a more general interest in, mise en scène and/or Moon (2009) and Ex Machina (2014). In addition, students with a possible interest in a degree in Film Studies and related disciplines will gain an understanding of how films are explored and discussed at university. Student groups, and individual students and teachers are very welcome to join us.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to familiarise themselves with Moon (2009) and Ex Machina (2014).

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:

Register here


20th September 2023
15:35 - 16:20
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