Photographers and directors often work with color in a frame. The most commonly used opposite colors are red and green, yellow and purple, orange and blue.
Today I have compiled a selection of films where color matters and plays on a par with actors.
The Wachowski brothers, who created the universe of the Matrix, from the very beginning made an important emphasis on color — green! The color of the code on the computer, as well as the color of the entire matrix, which is the computer child. The action of the trilogy takes place in several realities at once. In order for the viewer to visually distinguish events and scenes, the directors made a tricky move in the color scheme of the film: everything that happens inside the matrix is colored green, everything that happens in the real world is cold blue. Take a look for yourself.
Here and there in the frame you can see different green objects. Green tie, green notebook, green tiles in the kitchen — all this was not chosen by chance. So the filmmakers left clues for the audience.
The picture of Pedro Almodovar is rich in color combinations and is distinguished by serious work with color. Red runs like a thread through the entire film.
Every frame in this film is tastefully composed. The red thread of the story is framed by green and blue hues.
Red is the color of passion. For the Spaniards, he acquired an almost sacred meaning. The painting “Return” is rich in emotions, expression and intricate family ties.
“INSIDE LLEWIN DAVIS”
Roads, wanderings, melancholy, depression and lack of a future — this is the main mood of the picture of the Coen brothers. The protagonist is Lewin, a musician who never manages to gain popularity.
The directors deliberately made the colors of the film cold and muted, the whole action takes place in a melancholy, dim light. This is a direct reflection of the state of the protagonist.
In some scenes, you can find a combination of yellow and turquoise. But the colors are not joyful, but dull and muted, like the entire color palette of the film. Even in scenes that suggest a clear sunny day, there is no sun, no blue sky, no warm colors on the walls of houses. Everything breathes cold melancholy.
Another film with understated undertones, but for a very different reason. Roy Andersson works in his own unique style, thanks to which even one frame can immediately say: “This is Andersson’s film, one hundred percent!”. This is partly due to the muted range. Only unlike Llewyn Davis, Andersson’s films have warm colors, however, they are muted: everything is in pastel colors. As characters, Andersson chooses fat, marginal, not typical for film roles. If we add to this the fact that almost every scene in his films is filmed in a built-in pavilion, where all objects and people are in certain places, then the pale picture of the Swedish director begins to play with new colors and you want to look at it differently!
About Infinity is an informal epilogue to his big trilogy. A film-parable, a film-sketch about small moments in the lives of ordinary people. Andersson’s heroes are lonely, simple, marginal, almost like Chekhov’s little people. Perhaps such an approach to the coloring of films should emphasize this, setting the tone for the small lives of the characters.
Curiously, there are two scenes in the film where colors play differently. The first is a sketch about the time when Hitler had already been defeated and is in a bunker. The second is when his defeated army goes to surrender. White snow and dark uniforms create the illusion of a black and white shoot.
“ONLY LOVERS SURVIVE”
Red, as we already found out in The Return, is expression, the color of feelings and blood. For Jarmusch, this is the color of love, and its red is woven into the picture with a much thinner, almost imperceptible thread.
A film about modern vampires, who are many hundreds of years old, and they are tired of humanity. Both lead an ascetic lifestyle filled with the eternal — literature and music. Almost all the action of the picture takes place exclusively in the dark. The director colors the night with neon lights, experiments with light sources and uses.
There is no tragic melancholy in the film. In addition to the dominant red, Jarmusch uses a combination of turquoise and beige. I would like to suggest that with cold turquoise the author emphasizes ordinary mortals and humanity destroying the planet, and with warm beige — the careful, thoughtful attitude of the main characters. However, the frames show that this is not always the case.
The Shining has been called one of the scariest movies ever. What are the scenes with the elevator and the twins in blue. It is also worth noting the ingenuity in terms of color. Kubrick is a maestro! Here red is blood. Real, with a reflection of danger, anxiety and cruelty. The director pays great attention to the details in the frame and paints individual scenes due to them. Including alarm red.
Blue is no less important in the film: Wendy (the main character’s wife), Danny (his son), and with them the secondary characters Dick and the twin girls are almost always in blue clothes. Blue becomes the color of all innocent victims. Kubrick flirts with the viewer and leaves color Easter eggs. Arriving at the hotel, Wendy declares that her favorite color is pink! True, she never wears pink clothes for the entire film …
There is also a lot of green in the film. But, unlike the green bushes, the green decoration of the hotel sometimes acquires acidic hues. Perhaps it is these acidic undertones that question the reality of what is happening, adding surrealism, mysticism. Acid Trump — bathroom scene.
“THREE COLORS: BLUE”
Blue, white and red. This trio is paintings by Krzysztof Kieślowski, each of which is dominated by a specific color. Such naming is not accidental: the director put the French flag as the basis, all three colors of which reflect one of the values: freedom, equality, fraternity. In the case of blue, freedom.
Freedom is internal, from your fears, obsessive memories and the past. This is the kind of freedom that Julie, who lost her husband and daughter in a car accident, seems to be looking for. Blue in this case is about immersion in oneself, meditativeness, thoughts, the very rhythm of the life of the main character. In different scenes, Krzysztof Kieślowski complements the color to already familiar combinations with either warm yellow or green.
If this text did not contain at least one film by Wong Kar-Wai, then what kind of text about color would it be? The Asian director is the master of bright, richly colored films. “2046” is a pearl in the collected works of the author. Completely different! This picture is more about contemplation than about an attempt to immediately analyze an intricate plot.
The main character, Chow, writes tabloid novels, and the narrative alternates with the possible future from his books, then returns to the past, playing hopscotch with the audience. The film has a lot of noir, neon colors and colors. The author does not use one color scheme, but juggles many at once. Neon green and yellow, burgundy red, purple and green — all of this is in abundance in the film. The protagonist floats along the river of memories, then falls into the worlds he creates on paper, but in all cases it is bright! The past with a touch of patina is not worth waiting for. Rare black and white shots are an exception: another ball of color in the hands of a venerable juggler.