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...

B

Bancroft and corrupt green in Great Expectations, in The Big Easy, 121 lusty red in Sea of Love, 12, 13, 14 Beatty, Warren daring yellow in Dick Tracy, 59 obsessive yellow in Dick Tracy, 42 Bell and exuberant yellow in Billy Elliot, Jamie, 47 Bend It Like Beckham and exotic orange in, 113 Benning and red, white, and blue in American Beauty, Annette, 25 Bentley in American Beauty, Wes, 27 Big Easy, The credits, 121 opposing currents (orange and blue) in, 121-123 warm orange in, 121-123 Billy...

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,...

D

Daldry and use of blues in Billy Elliot, Stephen, 48, 49 Damon, Matt obsessive yellow in The Talented Mr. Ripley, 42 opening shot in The Talented Mr. Ripley, 76 visually hostile yellow in The Talented Mr. Ripley, 43 Daring yellows, 57-61 Dick Tracy, 59, 60 Thomas Crown Affair, The, 57-58 Davis and na ve orange in Thelma & Louise, Geena, 129 Day-Lewis and romantic reds in The Age of Innocence, Daniel, 33 De Niro, Robert color in opening shot of Taxi Driver, 53 in Great Expectations, 184...

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...

E

Eastwood, Clint natural earth orange in Unforgiven, 113, 152, 153 costume colors and character arc in, xxix, 11 credits, 123 from diplomat to virgin, 125-127 from innocence to power, 123-125 naive orange in, 123-128 oranges in, 113 English Patient, The colors defining places in, 54 credits, 53 golden obsession, 54-56 obsessive yellow in, 53-56 subliminal symbols in, xxvi, 17-18 Enlightened gold and Malcolm X, xxv, 17-18 Ethereal purple, 205-216 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 209, 211-212,...

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,...

Gattaca

Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Alan Arkin. Directed by Andrew Niccol. Cinematography Slawomir Idziak Production Design Jan Roelfs. blue the clue to the ending (or the beginning) The entire screen is a close-up in antiseptic blue. Objects fall and bounce to the bottom with loud thuds. Something resembling snow falls, and strands of something else follow. We see Vincent (Ethan Hawke) shaving, scrubbing, and showering. He sets fire to something behind a grate on a blue cylinder. He goes...

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...

H

Hackman in Unforgiven, Gene, 155 Hall in Malcolm X, Albert, 16 Hall and American Beauty, Conrad, 26 Hallestrom, Lasse melancholy blue in The Cider House Rules, 81 melancholy blue in The Shipping News, 81, 102 reds and Chocolat, 96, 108 warm blue in Chocolat, 81-82 Hamlet and grayed blue, 81 Hand, David green poison in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, xxxi-xxxii Hanks and angry red in Philadelphia, Tom, xxviii, 23, 24 Hartnett in The Virgin Suicides, Josh, 180 Hauer and powerless blue in Blade...

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...

L

Lachman, Edward on color choices and concepts in Far from Heaven, 133-134, 136, 137, 181 on colors in My Family (Mi Familia), 117, 120 on colors in The Virgin Suicides, 181, 182 on colors of bridge in My Family (Mi Familia), 119 on lime-green party in The Virgin Suicides, 183 on orange opening sequence in My Family (Mi Familia), 117 on stylistic roots of Far from Heaven, 132, 133 Lange in Tootsie, Jessica, 85 Law, Jude in Gattaca, 150 in The Talented Mr. Ripley, 77 Lee, Ang blues in Sense and...

My Family Mi Familia

Jimmy Smits, Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales, Jenny Gago, Eduardo Lopez Rojas. Directed by Gregory Nava. Cinematography Edward Lachman Production Design Barry Robison. the tiny house and the imposing bridge The title, My Family, appears over an urban river. The camera pans over a large bridge and stops at a tiny house nestled beneath it. An orange glow colors the entire opening sequence. This is not just establishing a sense of place for the film. These are powerful visual metaphors for...

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...

O

Obsessive yellow, 42, 52-56 Blow-Up, 94 Caveman's Valentine, The, 71 Dick Tracy, 42 English Patient, The, 53-56 Mosquito Coast, The, 167-169 Romeo + Juliet, 29-31 Run Lola Run, 53 Talented Mr. Ripley, The, 42 Taxi Driver, 52-53 Thomas Crown Affair, The, 42 Olin and warm blue in Chocolat, Lena, 98 Olmos, Edward James as narrator in My Family (Mi Familia), 117 origami in Blade Runner, 143-144 Ominous green, 175-179 Cabaret, 197-198 Caveman's Valentine, The, xxxii, 71-73, 160, 175 Far from Heaven,...

Patti Bellantoni

Patti Bellantoni's If It's Purple, Someone's Gonna Die has given us a highly entertaining exploration of the world of color and its impact on our emotions. Told through a careful analysis of motion pictures that have used color to enhance or define their characters or dramatic needs, we are given a lively and insightful view of our reactions to the film experience. Leading us gently but firmly through places we may have taken for granted, we find revelations that can be of real help to readers...

R

Romantic red in, 3, 38-39 Rebel Without a Cause credits, 13 defiant red in, 13-14 Red (caffeinated color), 1-39 angry, 2, 23-32 anxious, 19-22 bright red, 2, 3 burgundy, 3 classroom experiment with, xxi, xxii-xxiii leather jacket in Rebel Without a Cause (male) versus Sea of Love (female), 14 lusty, xxv, 11-13 powerful, 5-10 romantic, 33-39 rose red, 3 speed and, 2 warm red, 3, 11 Redgrave, Vanessa in Blow-Up, 93 in Dejd Vu, 207 Reilly and fantastic purple in Chicago, John C., 198 Rickman and...

Rached or

I, a warm-hearted woman in a Winnebago will at he is a sad, sad man. lue can be a tranquil pond or a soft blanket of sadness. It is quiet and aloof. Year after year, our color investigations show that in a blue environment, people become passive and introspective. It's a color to think to, but not to act. Think Hamlet. Director Lasse Hallstrom is a master at creating a sense of longing of something left unfinished with a grayed blue. Think of The Cider House Rules or The Shipping News. Both...

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...

S

Sarandon, Susan naive orange in Thelma & Louise, 129 romantic orange in Bull Durham, 112, 131 working class heroines played by, 131 Saving Private Ryan credits, 169 vital green in, 160, 169 Schindler's List angry red in, 25 credits, 25 Schwartzman in Rushmore, Jason, 194 Scorsese, Martin cautionary yellow in The Age of Innocence, 36 opening shot in Taxi Driver, 53 reds in Age of Innocence, 11, 33, 34, 35 Scott, Ridley Gladiator, 203 toxic orange in Blade Runner, 144 Scott Thomas and golden...

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 Age of Innocence

See Yellow A Paralyzing Caution on page 35 and on the following page. See Yellow A Paralyzing Caution on page 35 and on the following page. We hear otherworldly sounds like wings flying, whooshing. We see curved veins in slowly moving translucent forms that turn from We hear otherworldly sounds like wings flying, whooshing. We see curved veins in slowly moving translucent forms that turn from In The Age of Innocence, Newland can't possibly send Ellen red roses. It would be too obviously lusty...

The Caffeinated Color

Lola has twenty minutes to find 100,000 marks to save Manni's life. Red is her visual fuel. Bright red tends to be cold. Power-hungry Sigourney Weaver wears red in Working Girl, and in The Sixth Sense the cold-blooded murderer wears it at a funeral. This aggressive quality of bright red is somehow tempered when the color becomes warmer. Warm reds (red-oranges) tend to be sensual or lusty. Think Gwyneth Paltrow's bedspread in Shakespeare in Love. Rose (light red tinged with blue), like the train...

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...

W

Wagner on yellow, Carlton, 42 Walters in Billy Elliot, Julie, 48 Warm blue, 95-99 Chocolat, 81-82, 96-99 Shipping News, The, 103 Working Girl, 10, 95 Warm orange, 115-123 Big Easy, The, 121-123 Godfather, The, 115-116 My Family (Mi Familia), 117-121 Washington, Denzel in Much Ado About Nothing, 75 in Philadelphia, 23, 24 Weaver, Sigourney Gorillas in the Mist and John Seale on, 166 power red in Working Girl and, 3, 8, 10 Weir, Peter jungle in The Mosquito Coast, 167, 168 opening shot in...

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...