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Questions of Colour in Cinema

From Paintbrush to Pixel


Edited By Wendy Everett

Colour is one of the few remaining uncharted territories of film studies, and its centrality to the construction and reception of film narratives has only recently been recognised. After a century of widespread critical and theoretical neglect, colour is now poised to become a prime focus within film studies at all levels, and this book will constitute a key voice within this debate. In a series of wide-ranging critical essays, marked by authoritative and innovative perspectives, the volume explores the shifting technologies, theories, and practices of colour in cinema, highlighting the intricate relationship between technological, philosophical, and artistic concerns, and making a compelling case for colour as a dominant and complex signifier in filmic discourse. The essays are divided into three main sections exploring the historical and technical dimensions of colour, the aesthetics of colour, and the significance of colour in relation to broader issues of race, gender, and identity, and are interdisciplinary and transnational in their focus. They provide the reader with a clear understanding of the significance of colour, exploring new pathways and identifying discoveries still to be made.


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WENDY EVERETT Mapping Colour: An Introduction to the Theories and Practices of Colour 7


WENDY EVERETT Mapping Colour: An Introduction to the Theories and Practices of Colour In the dynamic and constantly evolving world of film studies, colour can be seen as the last great wilderness, the one remaining area yet to be explored, mapped, and charted. This volume, containing essays that consider the relationship between film and colour from a wide range of very different cultural and theoretical perspectives, aims to provide at least a signpost on that journey of discovery; an indication of work that has been achieved, work currently in process, and work still to be undertaken in this complex and fascinating domain. It is unquestionably the case that now, over a century since what is generally known as the ‘birth’ of cinema, colour is, at last, be- coming the focus of sustained critical and theoretical attention. A number of conferences devoted to the topic have recently taken place both in Europe and the US; numerous relevant research projects are underway; and – increasingly – publications are appearing which consider the significance and complexity of colour in film.1 The inspiration for this volume was a colloquium on colour that took place at Herstmonceux Castle (Sussex, UK), in May 2005. Truly inter- disciplinary, the colloquium brought together academics and prac- titioners from across the world, each of whom was investigating some particular aspect of colour in disciplines as various as literature and art, politics and sociology, gender studies and language, photography 1 Examples of recent conferences devoted to colour include: The Amsterdam Workshop at...

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