In this richly illustrated study, Richard Misek offers both a history and a theory of screen color. He argues that cinematic color emerged from, defined itself in response to, and has evolved in symbiosis with black and white. Exploring the technological, cultural, economic, and artistic factors that have defined this evolving symbiosis, Misek provides an in–depth yet accessible account of color′s spread through, and ultimate effacement of, black–and–white cinema.
1. Film Color.
Coloration in Early Cinema, 1895 1927.
The Rise of Technicolor, 1915 35.
Chromatic Cold War: Black–and–White and Color in Opposition.
Technicolor Is Natural Color : Color and Realism, 1935 58.
Chromatic Thaw: Hollywood s Transition to Color, 1950 67.
2. Surface Color.
Color in European Film, 1936 67.
Chromatic Ambivalence: Art Cinema s Transition to Color.
Painting with Light : Cinema s Imaginary Art History.
Unmotivated Chromatic Hybridity.
Monochrome Purgatory: Absent Color in the Soviet Bloc, 1966 75.
3. Absent Color.
Black–and–White as Technological Relic, 1965 83.
Black–and–White Flashbacks: Codifying Temporal Rebirth.
Black–and–White Films, 1967 2007.
Nostalgia and Pastiche.
4. Optical Color.
Cinema s Newtonian Optics.
White Light: Hollywood s Invisible Ideology.
Darkness Visible: From Natural Light to Neo–Noir , 1968 83.
Cinematography and Color Filtration, 1977 97.
Case Study: Seeing Red in Psycho.
5. Digital Color.
Crossing the Chromatic Wall in Wings of Desire.
An Archaeology of Digital Intermediate, 1989 2000.
Digital Color Aesthetics, 2000 9.
Conclusion: Painting by Numbers?
Chromatic Cinema provides a much–needed technological history of machines and techniques for producing moving images in color, as well as a cultural history of color films. (BRIAN R. JACOBSON, Technology and Culture, July 2012)
An invigorating critical intervention into the history, theory and aesthetic analysis of colour in the cinema. (JENNIFER M. BARKER, Screen, August 2012)
Chromatic Cinema provides a wealth of information and of examples of different approaches to colour in cinema and stimulates enough thoughts and reflections to be a worthy addition to any library on colour in cinema. (NICOLA MAZZANTI, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, April 2012"Chromatic Cinema is an excellent critical history of screen colour by Richard Misek, who teaches at the University of Bristol, near which, as I recall, is a plaque to mark the birthplace of William Friese–Greene, the somewhat unfortunate British movie pioneer, one of who patents was for his own colour system." (Times Literary Supplement, 25 November 2011)
"The book touches on most of the important aspects of color cinema–from history to technology to ideology–and serves as an orientation course for a complex subject. It′s a gateway read, neither intimidating nor frustrating. For a beginner (like me), it presented a smattering of philosophical ideas, a grounding in the why and how progression of color use, and a primer on the science of color technologies." (MUBI, September 2010)