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Chromatic Cinema. A History of Screen Color

  • ID: 2249077
  • Book
  • April 2010
  • 240 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Color permeates film and its history, but study of its contribution to film has so far been fragmentary.
Chromatic Cinema provides the first wide–ranging historical overview of screen color, exploring the changing uses and meanings of color in moving images, from hand painting in early skirt dance films to current trends in digital color manipulation.

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.

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List of Plates.



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?




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Richard Misek
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