Recent discoveries of early Technicolor, such as those outlined by Bryony Dixon for the BFI National Archive [I], offer glimpses of the additive colour image: a distinctive and memorable photographic style, that I would suggest summons visions of past cinematic exoticism, simultaneously real and unreal. Although the work of the Technicolor company was highly influential in the … Continue reading ‘The Three Processes of Doctor Bernardi’ by Keith Dando.
When we think of the 1950s and the immediate post-war period, it is often the Cold War that comes to mind. But in the workplaces, schools, shopping centres and households of America and its partner nations a new battle broke out: The Colour Wars. Ideological conflict was at the heart of the Cold War. Accusations … Continue reading ‘The Colour Wars: Colour Psychology in the Post-War Era’ by Kathryn Millard.
Posted with thanks to Carolyn Rickards and the Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema, 1955-1985. The Fourth International ‘Colour in Film’ Conference took place at the BFI Southbank on the 25th-27th February 2019. The conference has been increasing in scope and scale since its initiation in 2016 with a truly global audience of academics, archivists and … Continue reading ‘Colour in Film Conference Report 2019’ by Carolyn Rickards
On 8 August 1588 the English navy defeated the invading Spanish Armada. Over two centuries later, in the middle of another war, émigré Frenchman Philip James de Loutherbourg painted his interpretation of the great sea battle. As a theatre designer and special-effects expert, de Loutherbourg had created spectacular naval battles onstage; this painting gives a … Continue reading ‘Apocalypse Colour’ by Gillian Mciver
Undeniably, the dye-transfer process has been one of the prestigious techniques in terms of colour on film in cinema history. The American company Technicolor brought it to life in 1915 and then diffused it through its global networks of laboratories in the thirties, which resulted in a huge number of beautiful productions with a full … Continue reading ‘Weaponised Colour: A Brief History of the Dye-Transfer Process in China’s Cultural Revolution’ by Zhaoyu Zhu
American inventor and film pioneer, Charles Francis Jenkins, hypothesised that the combination of coloured lights and film could ‘wonderfully enhance the beauty of the moving pictures’ (1). Jenkins posited that chromatic rings may be painted onto lantern-slides and projected through an additional lantern, alongside the cinematograph, so that they enveloped the moving images on the … Continue reading “A Novelty Never Before Attempted”: Spectacular Illusions and Early Colour Cinema in Aberdeen, Scotland. by Stephen McBurney
Surplus Splendour Hollywood films of the 1950s and 60s were not simply colourful, oversized, and sonically stimulating, but all those things at once. In Silk Stockings (Rouben Mamoulian, 1957), the choral repetition of 'Glorious Technicolor, breath taking CinemaScope and stereophonic sound’ well conveys the surplus splendour of mid-century cinema. Stopping to appreciate the commercial, technological and … Continue reading ‘Visual Composition in Widescreen and Colour Film’ by Steven F. Roberts.