At the last SCMS, I saw a paper from an art historian arguing for the value of considering artworks within the mise-en-scene as art, not as "art." I'm not fully sure of the utility of such an approach (or even what it would look like), but it least it struck me as a novel way of thinking about the cinema.
That paper came to mind when I saw this blog post about using 12 o' Clock High to teach military history.
I don't know that there's any grand point here, but it's a nice reminder that in film studies we tend to bracket out all that's not necessary for an interpretable object. That includes, say, a few students' judgments on whether the female lead should have left her man long ago, but it also includes content that other disciplines might have a genuine scholarly interest in.