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April 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
louis schwartz <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 28 Apr 1994 10:25:37 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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>         The films of Maya Deren would seem to illustrate your point.
> It's hard to imagine them as having the same trance-like effect had
> they been in color.
> Bob Stewart  [log in to unmask]
Well now, what about the films of Leighton Pierce, most of which are
trance like and in color? What about the work of Stan Brackage? What about
J. Tanaka's video work... the list goes on. I would suggest that their is
no general function of color in the moving image determined primarily by
normative factors in so called real life. The function of color, as the
poster who cited The Wizard of Oz was trying to point out, is determined
by factors in the motion picture in which it is used as well as by
external so called cognative determinations. Also the question of genre
and color needs to be asked here. Some genres have a vexed relation to
color (film noir) and others have a particular bond to specific color
processes (the melodrama and three strip color). This leads me to my last
point which is that it is silly to reduce all chromatic work in motion
pictures to "color" as if it were all one ball of wax.  The kind of color
you get in Rebel Without A Cause is pretty different than what you see in
Pierrot Le Fou or Blue Velvet or Good Fellows. To simply describe them all
as color films is like calling Frankenthaller and Vaan Gogh color painters.