For this module we are going to be exploring color in film, and watching two films that use color to help tell a story.

The Reading

You will begin by reading chapter 7 (pgs. 191 - 215) in The Art of Watching Films.

The Watching

Then you will watch two films that use color particularly well, and with historical significance.


Singin’ in the Rain (1952) by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen

ONESHEET1156 2Singin’ in the Rain is all about Hollywood’s transition from silent films to the age of the ‘talkies.’ It features a timeless soundtrack, being a classic Hollywood musical and all... But it also perhaps one of the most impressive of films to feature the Technicolor color process, invented in the 1920s and perfected in the 30s and 40s. You must try your best to porce yourself from the incredible music and dancing here, and instead pay special attention to the beautiful use of color to help enrich the story.


Raise the Red Lantern (1991) by Zhang Yimou

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Yimou’s colorful masterpiece Raise the Red Lantern follows the story of three concubines living in a wealthy man’s palace in Warlord Era (1916 – 1928)  China. Pay close attention here to the use of color to express mood, internal emotional states, narrative beats, and convey the general atmosphere of China at the time.

Note: as always, the media for this can be found in the LEH 353 - Visual Storytelling library on Plex.



The Questions

When you have completed these two films, answer the following questions. I’ve kept them short because the films you will be watching for this module are on the longer side: