A

Turquoise insinuates itself into the lives of the villagers like an emotional gulf stream. rations of the color blue, the students often specifically chose blue-green. Initially, the results were surprising. Instead of becoming passive as they did with pale blues, they became extremely talkative and sociable.) Hallstrom's exotic turquoise color insinuates itself into the lives of the villagers like an emotional gulf stream. Vianne becomes a purveyor of chocolate made from a...

Apocalypse Now Redux

Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Cinematography Vittorio Storaro Production Design Dean Tavoularis. the color of napalm and agent orange This orange atmosphere surely isn't the opaque bright orange of American Graffiti. It is the orange exhaust from hell, and it permeates the movie visually. It's that famous shot of the helicopters, backlit by a sky that's a color only seen when the poisons in the air are at their densest. This is a new color...

Billy Elliot

See The Many Personalities of Blue on page 48. It is a relentless North wind, cold blue and wet. Two forms in red cloaks, one like a miniature of the other, struggle against it. The screen itself becomes agitated with red's intense presence. In a conservative gray village, it is about to become an agent of change. The cloaks belong to Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter Anouk (Victoire Thivisol), who come to the village to transform an unused pastry shop into a chocolaterie. The problem...

BlowUp

David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles. Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Cinematography Carlo di Palma Art Direction Assheton Gorton. the passive photographer and the airplane propeller No matter what anyone tells you, this is not just a movie about swinging London in the sixties. It's about the inability to make choices and connections, between reality and illusion, between art and life, between people. It's about the inability to act. It's script just waiting for blue. The...

C

With their large pools of international students, the School of Visual Arts in New York, California State University at Los Angeles, and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles afforded me, as a faculty member, the opportunity to explore cultural similarities and differences in response to color. I discovered that while students' individual stylistic approaches to color might indeed be different in character, their primary response was instinctual and similar. That is to say, the students...

Color

In this town, murder's a form of here have been times, particularly in romantic tales and poetry, when purple has been associated with sensuality. I suspect that may be because of the color's association with imbibing the grape. However, during our more than twenty years of research into the effects of color on behavior, purple was not once associated with sensuality. In fact, there seemed to be no real evidence of purple's having an effect in the physical realm at all. The color did, however,...

Dick Tracy

Warren Beatty, Madonna, Glenne Headly, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Charlie Korsmo. Directed by Warren Beatty. Cinematography Vittorio Storaro Production Design Richard Sylbert. As the title appears, we see the bright yellow fedora slide down from the top of the all-red screen and we feel his presence. Yellow hits your eye like a blaring visual sound. The camera pans over a city that is flat and three-dimensional at the same time. It is a reality of the print comic, color saturated to the...

Elizabeth

Cate Blanchett, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Richard Attenborough. Directed by Shekhar Kapur. Cinematography Remi Adefarasin Production Design John Myhre. Her name emerges out of a red-purple haze filled with black crosses that swirl slowly until only two are left. Like England's religion, the two crosses are divided by a space between them. Visually, there are many clues that psychologically layer this story, and color is not the least of them. The colors...

Elsevier

AMSTERDAM BOSTON HEIDELBERG LONDON NEW YORK OXFORD PARIS SAN DIEGO SAN FRANCISCO SINGAPORE SYDNEY TOKYO focal press is an imprint of elsevier Acquisitions Editor Elinor Actipis Project Manager Kyle Sarofeen Assistant Editor Cara Anderson Marketing Manager Christine Degon Cover Design Julio Esperas Interior Design Linda Eberle Focal Press is an imprint of Elsevier 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USA Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP, UK Copyright 2005, Patti...

Far from Heaven

See Purple The Color of Loss on page 137. It is fitting that this story begins in Jerusalem, a place whose ambiance seems to straddle time. This story is about straddling time. It is about unseen forces that work in the service of the heart. Purple is the perfect vehicle for the unseen, and in this film, it is used subtly and wisely. Dana (Victoria Foyt) is an American who journeyed here to find wares for her shop in a restored mansion in Los Angeles. As she walks through the age-old bazaars,...

Filmographies

Following are filmographies of cinematographers and production designers who are featured in If It's Purple, Someone's Gonna Die. Each of these filmmakers has done many superb films. These are the ones that are, at this moment in time, the most relevant to this book. The Shootist, Fiddler on the Roof, The Thomas Crown Affair (Original), Marnie, The Birds, North by Northwest Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Bloodwork, Unforgiven, The Sting, Slaugh-terhouse-Five House of Sand and Fog, A...

G

Blue as clue to ending or beginning, 149 credits, 149 ominous green in, 150-152, 175 orange sky in, 112 toxic orange in, 149-150 Gere in Chicago, Richard, 198 Gladiator cold blue in, 203 credits, 203 death and purple in, 191 idyllic yellow in, 79, 203 ominous purple in, 204 Godfather, The color layering in, 116 credits, 115 warm oranges in, 115-116 Godfather, Part III and scary, powerful red and black in, The, 116 Gold, enlightened, xxv, 17-18 Gorillas in the Mist credits, 165 healthy green in,...

Gorillas in the Mist

Directed by Michael Apted. Cinematography John Seale Production Design John Graysmark. Motivated by her love for animals, Dian Fossey came to Africa initially to take a census of a species of mountain gorillas that were threatened with extinction. Local poachers had nearly decimated the population by killing these animals to traffic their body parts to the tourist trade. With the imprimatur of famed anthropologist Louis Leakey, she became an expert on, and...

Info

Sometimes a film is designed with completely normal colors appropriate to the location except for one key scene in which the ambient color changes for a reason. When it is done well, we're not conscious of it, but our nervous system and emotional centers register it and it manifests physically. Without red, in the scene described below, we would not experience the degree of empathy we do with the Tom Hanks' character. The red affects us on a preverbal level. It is a response over which we have...

Nowledgments

I express my deep gratitude to the following people First and foremost, to Elinor Actipis, Acquisitions Editor at Focal Press, for her belief in this book, and my personal editor at Focal, Christine Tridente, who calmly guided me in making the book so much better than it began. To my Proposal Editor, Jerry Gross, without whom my book might never have happened. Thanks also to Arlene Gross, who opened the door for many new colleagues. To my agent, Irene Webb, who was there for me when it really...

Rage

Rage is an explosion coming from black. I was actually astonished that as I evoked this emotion, I saw a lot of green in it. Green mixed with black and on top, the furious red. Again, I have no reasons why I picked black, red, and yellow. I painted spontaneously with no vertical or horizontal lines. I put some pattern in based on my feelings. The painting was done standing up and in 4 minutes at the most. A spatula, a pair of scissors, and a utility blade were the tools I chose to extend my...

Saving Private Ryan

Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, Giovanni Ribisi, Matt Damon. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Cinematography Janusz Kaminski Production Design Tom Sanders. The green that happens in late spring covers the manicured burial lawns of Omaha Beach. The color of the sky is not unlike the day of the Normandy Invasion. This green is essential to layering the emotional moment. It is a message sent by contrast. The grass is the green that signals the beginning of the end of the...

The Mosquito Coast

Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, River Phoenix. Directed by Peter Weir. Cinematography John Seale Production Design John Stoddart. Allie Fox (Harrison Ford), an obsessed, pontificating, know-it-all inventor, disgusted with western civilization, buys a Central American town called Geronimo and moves his family (Helen Mirren, River Phoenix, and Martha Plimpton) deep into a tropical jungle. Sure, he's an egomaniac, but Allie's also a creative genius. He literally has a gift for building...

The Wizard of Oz

See Yellow The Promise and the Warning on page 6. 1976. Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Cinematography Michael Chapman Production Design Charles Rosen. In the first thirty seconds of this film, we find ourselves visually choking on fumes from unknown but menacing exhausts. The camera places us on the ground. Literally, our eye level is at the bumper. We have the visual alertness that comes from being physically vulnerable. The cab looms...

V

On collaboration in The Caveman's Valentine, 73 on conceptual color choices in The Caveman's green in The Caveman's Valentine, xxxi, xxxii, 72 on look inside characters head in The Caveman's Valentine, 73-74 on yellow x-rays versus green z-rays in The Caveman's Valentine, 72-73 Virgin Suicides, The corrupt green in, xvii, 179-181, 182-183 credits, 179 melancholy blue as subliminal message, 181-182 poisonous green in, xxxi-xxxii, 160, 182-183 red as warning signal in, 182 Vital green, 169-172...

The Virgin Suicides

Kathleen Turner, James Woods, Kristin Dunst, Josh Hartnett. Directed by Sofia Coppola. Cinematography Edward Lachman Production Design Jasna Stefanovic. The living room of the Lisbon house is permeated by a sickly yellowish green, the kind of green that comes from not being exposed to enough light. In essence, it is a guardhouse of five vir ginal, about-to-bloom young sisters. The house becomes a metaphor for the parents' obsession with not allowing any light to come inside. The film is...

Cross Reference

Each part has a home page, which describes the emotional and psychological influences we discovered about the color, and contains two chapters, each of which explores films that best illustrate those influences. Within these chapters, the color is divided into six characteristics that help to influence our emotional responses to the films. Some films use a color's transformation, or its flow, to support the evolution of the characters and story throughout the movie. Others have one...

Rosemarys Baby

Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer. Directed by Roman Polanski. Cinematography William Fraker Production Design Richard Sylbert. The titles are written in a pink script and a little girl's voice sings a la-la melody in the background. From the air, the camera moves over The Branford, a rather austere and foreboding-looking building. In reality, it is The Dakota, a sinister-looking landmark on Manhattan's upper West Side. It is also the place where John Lennon was...

Great Expectations

Ethan Hawke, Gywneth Paltrow, Anne Bancroft, Robert De Niro. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki Production Designer Tony Burrough. So obvious in its use of the color, this film is jokingly called Green Expectations by many filmmakers. Yet no major critic at the time mentioned the color's significance. Interesting in light of the fact that painter Finnegan Bell Ethan Hawke in the opening voiceover declares color to be a metaphor for subjective memory. There either...

Little Princess

Little Princess Ramayana Pictures

Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Cinematography Emmanuel Lubezki Production Design Bo Welsh. This is a film where the use of color is obvious and subliminal at the same time. Two parallel stories are told one from an ancient Indian epic, the other from the time of World War I. Color brilliantly defines the sense of place for each. One is a golden fantasy, warm and magical the other is a stark, decaying atmosphere devoid of light. We are aware...

The Cider House Rules

See Red Apples and Orphans on page 108. In Racing with the Moon, the color of roses transforms a steel railroad car into a valentine to young lovers. Director Kenneth Branagh moved the location of Much Ado About Nothing from dry and dusty Sicily to take advantage of the marmalade-colored Tuscan light. jackets. That's your first clue, or warning. One of the reasons yellow is the color used for caution signs is that it's visually aggressive. It appears to come toward you. We've built it into our...

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Realized by many animators. Quite probably in 1937, these color choices were made intuitively. It's inspiring to see how nearly perfect they are. Nearly seventy years later, it's a different world one that sometimes needs a jog to our intuitive side. See Backstory. Don't underestimate the effect of the color choices in this movie. Of course, this tale is about the healing power of love, but it's also about the poisoning effects of jealousy. We have known that...

Racing with the Moon

Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage, Elizabeth McGovern. Directed by Richard Benjamin. Cinematography John Bailey Production Design David L. Snyder. This is an often-overlooked jewel of a film set in the Pacific Northwest at the beginning of WWII. It's the last summer before Hopper Sean Penn and Nicky Nicola Cage go off to war, and it's love or the lack of it that propels the story. The movie captures both the innocence and sweetness of first love and the brutishness of first lust. Director Richard...