From Paintbrush to Pixel
Practices of Colour: Technical Dimensions and the Construction of Meaning
Contents Introduction 7 Chapter One The Aesthetic and Political Situation in the Weimar Republic 19 Chapter Two Bertolt Brecht: “Contradictions are Our Hope!” 51 Chapter Three Friedrich Wolf: Empathy Through Estrangement 97 Chapter Four Gustav von Wangenheim: “An Important, but Unknown Dramatist” 131 Chapter Five The Legacy of Proletarian-Revolutionary Theater in the GDR 155 Conclusion 209 Notes 219 Bibliography 235 Index 251 JOSHUA YUMIBE Silent Cinema Colour Aesthetics We must confess to a gradually waning interest in motography in natural colours. Such an achievement, it is true, is a scientific triumph; and divested of the necessity for special apparatus it would have great practical value. But one cannot watch the magnificent artificially coloured productions of the present day flit across the screen without wondering if the quest for natural colours is worth while (Anonymous, The Nickelodeon, 1910: 2).1 Colour has been one of the more historically and theoretically dis- regarded aspects of silent cinema. This is partially because of its chemical instability on the nitrate film base, making it difficult both to preserve and reproduce. The unfortunate result is that most of our silent films now only exist in black and white when originally the majority were manually coloured in part or in whole. A popular assumption that has arisen from this is that with silent cinema, the films were black and white, and colour did not enter the picture until three-strip Technicolor in the 1930s. However, thanks to a growing interest in early colour which has occurred over...
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