Movies and color make an Oscar worthy pair. If you’re lacking inspiration or motivation in your quest for the perfect color I suggest you put down that paint brush and go to the movies. Bring the popcorn and get ready for some inspiration-in Technicolor.
From the beginning of the 20th Century, color motion pictures have been inspiring us to color our own lives to match our screen fantasies.
Once Dorothy landed in Oz, we’ve never looked back. Somehow, in a darkened theater, projected onto the silver screen, color is so seductive, sexy and truly a star.
Hollywood has always known that. Even movie titles color the imagination:
The Red Shoes
How Green was my Valley
The Pink Panther
The great Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s crimson-hued Cries and Whspers once inspired me to immediately repaint my formerly pale blue living room a rich velvety red.
And unlike poor Liv Ullmann in the film, it cheered me right up!
In the ’50’s a comedic Frenchman named Jacques Tati won an Academy Award for a movie called Mon Oncle with virtually no dialogue.
Talking wasn’t necessary. The real stars of the show were the architecture, the interiors, and color!
This charming little flick caused a big trend in modern interiors with its embrace of graphic shots of color and very much allowed the bright crazy rooms and pop furniture of the following decades to happen.
In the 1960’s, the miles and piles of glittery snow in Doctor Zhivago caused a rush on snow-white everything – especially icy white interiors.
Under the Tuscan Sun from the beginning of the 21st Century caused a flurry of buttery, sunny shades thanks to Diane Lane and some warmly received art direction. And after just recently seeing Leonardo Dicaprio’s blush-toned linen suit in “The Great Gatsby,” it’s going to be pretty hard not to paint that powder room powdery pink!
In fact, one of the funniest scenes about color in any movie, is in black and white. When Myrna Loy explains her incredibly specific feelings about color in Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House, I dare you not to laugh. Just try. Go ahead-watch it now:
Movies have always had the power to influence us: politically, socially, culturally and critically.
And nowhere is that influence more profound than in the color cues it gives us. Movie memories, and that certainly includes the staring role of color, seem to stick with us forever.
So rent it, buy it, drive to it, stream it or take a date to it, but I’m sure that whatever color inspiration you may be looking for, is out there in the dark-at the movies.