Color and/is narration. The narrative role of color in Wes Anderson’s filmic images
American Director Wes Anderson’s films are an interesting case study on the use of representation and visual language as elements capable of implementing the narrative underlying the film plot. His films, in fact, are constructed according to a logic similar to that of architectural representations. The combination of geometries, perspectives, textures and colors generates a code of signs capable of mediating between the intelligible and the sensitive, between the idea and the image. In particular, chromatic aesthetics constitutes a carefully curated component in the image sequences. The balanced and perfect color compositions, however much they may seem a decorative whim, represent a clever narrative device that, designed according to logical patterns, is able to embody symbolic and communicative values. This research, therefore, aims to investigate the language of color in Anderson's films, with the aim of analyzing its narrative potential. The color is investigated both as a narrative content of the filmic atmosphere and as a narrative container of emotions and symbols. The double register of analysis used for Anderson's films can become a trace of a general methodology of analysis, applicable not only to the works of other directors, but also to other forms of visual narration.
Austerlitz, S. (2012) Another fine mess: A history of American film comedy.Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press.
Bartolomei, C. and Ippolito, A. (2016) ‘Il disegno come narrazione: Grand Budapest Hotel’, in Le ragioni del Disegno – The reasons of Drawing. Atti del 38° convegno internazionale dei Docenti della Rappresentazione, pp. 1329-1336.
Gegenfurtner, K., and Sharpe, L. (2000). Color vision: From genes to perception. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Grobar, M. (2015). Creating Wes Anderson’s Wacky World Is Just Another Day At The Office For ‘Grand Budapest’ Production Designer Adam Stockhausen, Deadline Online. Available at: https://deadline.com/2015/02/grand-budapest-hotel-adam-stockhausen-wes-anderson-oscar-nominated-production-design-1201371523/ (Accessed: 20 February 2020)
Hubris-Cherrier, M. (2012). Voice and vision: A creative approach to narrative film and DV Production. 6th ed. Boston, MA: Focal Press.
Kandisky, W (1996). Lo spirituale nell’arte. Milano: Bompiani.
Lee, S. (2016). Wes Anderson’s Ambivalent Film Style: the relation between mise-en-Scène and Emotion, New review of film and television studies, 14 (4): pp. 409-439. Doi: 10.1080/17400309.2016.1172858
Manovich, L. (2005). Il linguaggio dei nuovi media. Milano: Edizioni Olivares.
McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding Comics. The Invisible Art. New York: HarperCollins Publisher.
Seitz, M. (2013). The Wes Anderson collection. New York, NY: Abrams.
Vaughn Vreeland, A. (2015). Color Theory and Social Structure in the Films of Wes Anderson, Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 6(2), pp. 35-44.
Yumibe, J. (2012). Moving color. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Zettl, H. (2011). Sight, sound, motion; applied media aesthetics. 6th ed. Belmont, CA:Wadsworth.
Copyright (c) 2021 Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The "Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science" journal is registered at the Court of Milan at n.233 of 24.06.2014.
The journal is an open access journal, free for readers and authors and has joined ROAD, the Directory of Open Access scholarly Resources, since 2014. Articles published in the “Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science" journal are open access articles, distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The copyright is retained by the author(s).