The Importance of Color in Film: A Review of Colors of Film by Charles Bramesco

Color has always been a vital component of film. From the earliest feature films to today, color has played a pivotal role in the success of some of the most iconic movies of all time. Colors of Film by Charles Bramesco is a fascinating exploration of the power of color in film.
The book takes readers on a journey through 50 iconic movies, exploring how color was used to evoke emotions, provide psychological symbolism, and act as a narrative device. Bramesco uses infographic color palettes and stills from the movies to provide a fresh and lively approach to film for cinema-goers and color lovers alike.
One example of the power of color in film is Wes Anderson’s use of pastels and muted tones. While aesthetically pleasing, his careful use of color also acts as a shorthand for interpreting emotion. In Moonlight, cinematographer James Laxton and colorist Alex Bickel spent 100 hours fine-tuning the saturation and hues of the footage so that the use of color evolved in line with the growth of the protagonist through the film. And in Schindler’s List, a bold flash of red against an otherwise black-and-white film is used as a powerful symbol of life, survival, and death.
But Colors of Film goes beyond exploring the use of color in individual films. Bramesco also delves into how the development of technologies has shaped the course of modern cinema. He examines how the feud between Kodak and Fujifilm shaped the color palettes of some of the 20th century’s greatest filmmakers, and how the advent of computer technology is creating a digital wonderland for modern directors in which anything is possible.
Filled with sparkling insights and fascinating accounts from the history of cinema, Colors of Film is an indispensable guide to one of the most important visual elements in the medium of film.

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