Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread, where things come to life in every color of the rainbow! Discuss movies you’ve seen lately. Is there a streaming release that you feel has flown under the radar and that everyone should check out? Maybe an old classic that you are now just discovering? The Weekly Movie Thread is your place to talk about it! We may not be going into theaters thanks to the plague, but movies never die. They’re our escape, our storytellers, or way to make sense of our often turbulent world.
We live in an age where digital color grading has absolutely changed the game. The technology got implemented on Pleasantville and O Brother, Where Art Thou? in the late ’90’s to make the world either more black and white or more dusty.
Films like these made the digital intermediate process practical. Almost all feature films go through a digital intermediate process, which in retrospect make films in the 90’s feel a little quaint. The dark colors get darker, the contrast is higher… or, if you prefer, you can go the other way around and make things seem creamier and more hazy.
Of course, movie makers were already getting plenty creative even before the advent of digital intermediate. Set design, costumes, camera filters, and other techniques would all be applied in creating a striking color palette.
Today’s bonus prompt: What is your favorite use of color in film?
Some of my favorites are Zhang Yimou’s use of a single color to dominate individual scenes in Hero…
….the all red town in Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter….
… the cool neon colors of a Michael Mann film that dare you to feel the sticky humidity of Miami….
….and the dreamy magic hour palette of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
Then there’s Paddington 2, where a stray red sock in the laundry makes most of the prisoners look like employees at a bakery shop.