Storm Over the Nile, 1955 by Zoltan Korda. Not a particularly ok film but the red of the soldiers’ jackets is a feast for the eyes. The film’s colour is rich and has depth. Today’s films may be sharp as a tack, and glossy as a cat at night but have lost a significant warmth which, for me is visually pleasing and rewarding.
Black Narcissus: 1947 ; Jack Cardiff, director of photography: Technicolor.
Technicolor was invented in 1916 and was used for decades. When Eastman colour began to replace Technicolor in the early 1950’s, film lost its richness for me.
Films like Avatar are visually shallow however technically, digitally, wow-factor polished. I was glad, however when the ‘goodies’ won.
I haven’t attended the cinema for several years – my ears are sensitive to ear-splitting noise. In fact the experience was so strident at my last visit that I had what I can only describe as a mini panic attack. I stuffed my ears with a tissue but then felt dizzy, so left the cinema. The only other film I’ve walked out on was ‘Jules et Jim.’ from boredom, not because it was black and white which can be as rich as colour.
I prefer films which allow their audience to observe, enter the mood. I recently watched, with great enjoyment, ‘Argo’ on DVD. The director allowed his audience to observe and engage with rather than wow constantly in case they fell asleep.
The visual aesthetic of Technicolor continues to be used in Hollywood, usually in films set in the mid-20th century. Parts of The Aviator, 2004, were digitally manipulated to imitate colour processes that were available during the periods each scene takes place.
The Crimson Pirate: 1952
The Aviator; 2004
All That Heaven Allows;1955, was filmed in both Technicolor and Eastman color. How glorious.
And Far from Heaven, 2002:
attributed to ‘color’ but what ‘over-the-top’, aka Technicolor, – those autumn leaves, that green silk dress – stunner!
Red Shoes: 1948; Technicolour; Jack Cardiff