If you’ve ever enjoyed a Wes Anderson film and swooned more over the gorgeous colourscapes the director employs than the lead actors or the plot, then this Instagram account is for you. Colorpalette.cinema takes stills from classic films and adds a colour-coded swatch beneath them, picking out the essence not just of the visual language of each one, but also bringing to the fore where some of its psychological power might lie too. Always wanted to know exactly which greens are giving you that queasy sense of dread in The Shining’s famous bathroom scene? What colour ideas are underpinning the sensual terror of Blue Velvet’s cabaret club? This account has the answers.
Although Wes Anderson’s colour choices have been widely celebrated and dissected all over the internet, the entries in colorpalette.cinema’s account are pleasingly diverse, often calling attention to the colour design of a movie you may not have thought about in those terms. You’ll find entries on auteurs and cinematic greats, including Hitchcock, the Coen Brothers, Tarantino and Francis Ford Coppola. But there are also swatches for more obscure and less obviously artistic cinematic visions like Spaghetti Westerns, slasher flicks and monster movies.
Fans of classic 60s avant-garde films will find much to enjoy in this selection, with the achingly beautiful film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg getting the swatch treatment, as well as the work of Goddard and Antonioni. And even the most ardent fans of cult classic The Big Lebowski will see layers to the film even they had not previously noticed, especially in the colour swatch devoted to The Dude’s infamous rug.
The account says that it is aiming to highlight the physiological effects of colour in film, and the way in which directors create colour-coded scenes or entire movies to create atmosphere, meaning and, in some instances, story. It’s a great space to spot aspects of favourite films you’d never noticed before – and if you’re really longing for a creepy haunted bathroom of your own, you could also take the swatch as literal decorating inspiration.
All images from Colorpalette.cinema