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Monday, December 16, 2013

Color In Cinema

 Bruegel's Wedding Dance

I was watching The Deer Hunter, directed by Michael Cimino, and I watched the wedding and wedding reception parts. I could think of nothing but Bruegel's paintings of Dutch feasts and dancing, and I was a bit surprised at my reaction... for I was surprised that in all this time I had never seen this part of the film  -  I had seen only parts here and there  -  and I was even more surprised to think of Bruegel, yet never, never having heard anything about such a display before in any review or conversation.

Painting and Photography have composition, and they have color, and they have color composition, but cinema makes the colors move in a complex swarm across the screen. Cinema makes manifest that which painting and photography only promise and hint at.

There is an endless composing of colors on the screen, just as the billions of reflections upon the surface of a evening lake slightly disturbed by autumn winds: colors ever changing their locations, their contrast, their brightness... and that approaches chaos.
There are numerous examples of rich, splendid color, but to maintain them intelligibly as a swarm, as a flight, as an example of color on the wing, why, that is art!

But the maelstrom of color in The Deer Hunter approached a unity of vision: the charm, the spin, the quanta of art.

I suppose now I shall have to watch Heaven's Gate by Mr. Cimino.

I think M. Night Shayamalan has a similar control of his palette and movement. I watched The Village again just to see, and it was the wind that colored the blue sky red with the passion of Van Gogh as it blew through the vermillion hair of the character Ivy Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard).


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