Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dreary Films

I really enjoy going to the movies and wondered why it was that recently many have left me somewhat depressed, even when they had positive endings. I wondered if it was just my attitude that had shifted. Several months ago a friend of mine sent me a link which discussed digital color grading with a limited palette that highlights teal and orange while muting all of the other colors.

This is done with the idea that complementary colors to flesh tones will make the images stand out. Unfortunately, this makes the skin color of most light-skinned persons orange with the complementary backgrounds various colors of teal. This is very evident in most of Hollywood’s recent releases. Two that I saw recently are Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood.

While I enjoyed both movies, I felt they came across as muted and dreary. As this had been brought to my attention prior to my seeing these movies, I specifically watched for the effects and was unsurprised to find that the lack of the full color spectrum in most scenes was depressing to me, regardless of the message of the movie.

This emasculation of color in films is akin to the castration of stories in books which many authors do by limiting character development in favor of action. I hope that both authors and directors/producers/editors soon come to their senses and provide their audiences with the full spectrum of stories and visuals rather than the ‘dumbed down’ versions they believe we will stomach. In both cases, simplified does not better art make.

PS: See for more information.

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