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Re-live Wes Anderson’s Colour

By Tabassum Sayeka

In our adolescence,a certain feeling haunts us mostly when we discover ourselves as nothing but some piles of memories of our earlier days.We reminiscent our washed out memories and  get filled up with a vague yet irresistible urge that perhaps something might be done about putting the things back together again.We tend to create a universe of our own with those fragments and start to  colour those washed out,half-remembered memories.The first name which comes to mind when thinking about the representation of the vanished whole that haunts us is none other than the director Wes Anderson.He is the master of the washed-out, milky aesthetic, which ultimately gives a vintage, nostalgic feeling as if audiences are walking through a fading memory. In his set design and camerawork, and his use of stop-motion, maps and most importantly unique colour pallates,Wes Anderson’s films  readily, even eagerly, concede the miniature quality of the worlds he builds. In choosing the color we would paint our walls, how good it looks is not just the main consideration, we also have to consider the emotions or memories we  associate with certain colors.

A movie’s color palette creates a place where storyteller’s can create conflict and drama.The fictional worlds evoked in film by director Wes Anderson have such a precise colouration – the very particular pastel-hues that paint the skies, drench the buildings and dress the characters, render Anderson’s microcosms almost dream-like. The hazy-hued lens through which we peer into the director’s unique world has a retro quality that casts his films in a nostalgia for a time that could have been.

Wes Anderson has a common colour in most of his movies- Yellow. Though he plays with various colours but after an Anderson binge watching,you can easily pick this one colour.We can’t find that much movies with yellow prominence colours but Anderson does it purposely to create his own universe where all his chatacters seem natural yet from another reality.Yellow, in the western world, is the color of sunshine, youth, joy and happiness. The color is warming, encourages mental activity and generates muscle energy, stimulating intellect and vigor. Yellow grabs out our  attention and can indicate honor and loyalty. It is undeniable that colors have the power to affect our mood and Anderson knows that. As we all know yellow associated with happy memories,it can be the ultimate wall colour of our home. Whereas,  not everyone has a happy childhood memory associated with it. It all comes down to personal preference when it comes to choosing color paints.

He is mostly famous for his muted pastel pallate. The beauty of having such a muted palette means that when higher saturated colours are introduced, they instantly receive the audience’s attention, thus meaning a close-up shot is not essential for the focal point to shine through; in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,an example of this concept is shown through the orange coloured hat where the whole movie reflects only one colour- ocean blue.That hat represents not the ocean but something beneath the ocean and anything beneath  the ocean is like a treasure to Zissou. Our walls can be painted with mix shades of azure with mustard yellow or bright orange that has made an undeniable appeal on screen.

Artist and Wes Anderson enthusiast Hamish Robertson says, “Anderson’s colour palettes are integral to his cinematic ‘world-building’. His eye for art direction and fantastic attention to detail creates the appropriate space and tone for his characters to exist in – and for the viewer to lose themselves in. They ultimately become their own visual language, the way character themes are elaborated in cinematic scores, allowing an immersive visual experience whether the sound is on or not.”

The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably Anderson’s most notable film with this muted colour scheme, as it plays with faded pinks and washed yellows in an iconic and aesthetically pleasing way. The calming tones allow the farcical story to transpire gently, giving the narrative an overall lighthearted, feel-good aura.The muted pink of The Grand Budapest Hotel makes the hotel itself the biggest character in the movie.Here Anderson used three different colours to represent three different time-lines. He used olive green to represent the communism time-line,the olive green that is faded but still bold,like communism itself. Costumes and props here are illustrated with different colors for symbolic significance or to make actors/objects stand out in a scene.Anderson said that he had thought of the hotel as bit like a ‘Wedding cake’. The pink and purple informed the colours for that part of the movies. This ‘wedding cake’ theme can readily add a festive vibe in our dining space or living room.

The confectioner’s pink–and-blue palette of Mendel’s in The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the best couplings for our home paint.Grounding pastels with quiet, natural tones and sharp angles keep the dynamic from becoming too precious. We can create a mesmerizing combination of romantic antiques with contemporary silhouettes for  timeless aesthetic by this palatte in our bedroom walls.

The actors wear purple costumes which signify the rich elegance of the hotel in which they work and also allow them to stand out as contrasted with the red wall. Madame D. wears red, which makes her disappear into the red wall, as she disappeared later on in the film.In The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson and his team utilized a monochromatic color scheme. Light pink gives way to deeper purples. The result keeps the chosen color tone intact, but it allows us to create contrast within it.

So if there’s all red colour pallate,we just need to add some tint and shade there and suddenly we can have a monochromatic colour scheme!Monochromatic color schemes come in shades of a single color such as red, dark red, and pink.They can  create a deeply harmonious feeling in our home that is soft, lulling and soothing.

The contrast between the world of prison and the hotel is best illustrated when Zero visits in his purple uniform, and even more so with the rose Mendel’s container. The pink hues of confectionery box not only show the pureness of Agatha but also the hope of the outside world and the tools of escape that the box brings. This outstanding juxtaposition of colours can add an intense sense of contrast in our wall decor.

Moonrise Kingdom is another one of Anderson’s movies that uses colour in a direct,definite and determined way to evoke emotion and set a tone.This movie stands out for its simplistic, pastel palette. Anderson’s use of warm,desaturated  colours invoke in us a sense of nostalgia for re-living our childhood.

In this movie, the scouts wear yellow bandanas around their necks while the main antagonist, Social Services, wears a solid blue coat. The creative decision to assign yellow to good-natured characters, and blue to bad ones is ingenious because it is consistent to how some of us perceive some colors. Set in the 60s, the homes in Moonrise Kingdom do not shy away from using warm colors like yellow, red, or orange. It is as if the director hates white or gray walls. It is important to choose a dominant color for our rooms and then add some vintage pieces like binoculars, record players, and film camera, for a nostalgic color palette, similar to the Moonrise Kingdom vibe.Highlighting army green with exuberant, youthful splashes of sky blue and delicate rose can channel the romance and optimism of Moonrise Kingdom in our very own home!

In recent times, the chromatic volume has been cranked up to the max. Filmmakers are now able to depict a story with even more exposure and detail, manipulating audiences moods and emotions quite simply through orchestrating colour.The importance and brilliance of colour in film cannot be stressed enough. Directors and cinematographers are consciously including or avoiding specific colours to deepen narratives while simultaneously enhancing a picture’s overall quality and beauty. These coloured worlds reel in audiences and can shape a filmmaker’s body of work, strengthening their overall oeuvre by acting as a trademark such as Wes Anderson  films.

One doesn’t have to like Wes Anderson films to appreciate the way he moves the camera, composes shots, and directs the actors. He makes robust, thoughtful films that use every department to the fullest degree.Each of his more recent films could be described as a visually spectacular tour de force. This is because he pays “relentless attention to detail.” He directs our attention to what he wants, when he wants, and he is a master at making each image count through the use of cinema.

Surely, Colour has the amazing ability to grab the audience’s attention, foreshadow information and control or influence emotion consciously and subliminally. While other filmmakers use real life designs and colours  to create a cohesive world, Anderson seems to build his outright.The diverse colour concoctions presented in Anderson’s films take all different shapes, sizes,shades and sharpness, and each palette manages to heighten the cinematic experience in his own unique way.Everyone surely loves how the colors of his films trigger memories the same way a scent does.  The treaks of yellow in Anderson’s  films can readily make us recall the days when the grass was greener and the  days were brighter!

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1 Comment

  1. anikanowshin9 says:

    Owao,what a writting.Thank u bergerhomediaries

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