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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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Aesthetics of Colour


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 WENDY EVERETT Colour as Space and Time: Alternative Visions in European Film Tones, shades, harmonies, and textures are all concepts that apply as much to music as to colour, while the adjective ‘chromatic’ is used to refer to both, through its dual meanings of something that is produced by, or full of, bright colour, and a musical scale which proceeds by semitones and thus contains a richer number of tonal colours than its diatonic equivalent. Given that colour and music are attributes of en- tirely different senses (sight and hearing), this fundamental coinci- dence is fascinating, and it provides the starting point for this essay whose purpose is to analyse and explore ways in which colour may be used in film not as a means to greater realism, nor even as a symbolic or expressive tool designed to create a particular emotional impact, but in its own right, as an autonomous entity, an independent signifier which can detach itself from its immediate context and, in so doing, radically alter the nature of that context. In other words, I shall be ex- ploring the significance of colour as abstraction,...

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