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  • Writer's pictureEsther Bae

6 Great Movies That Make Stunning Use of Color

Color is used to set the tone in movies. Different color can represent various themes and emotions. Red may mean love, passion, or danger, while blue may mean cold, isolation, or depression. Or filmmakers can use it the opposite way to manipulate the themes as well. Some directors are well known for their color palettes. Let's look at some of the best ones!

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Yes, it is Wes Anderson! We cannot talk about color palette in film without Wes Anderson. He has iconic color palette for each film he makes, and some young filmmakers study his use of color. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is a great example of his brilliant use of color.

2. Life of Pi (2012)

I still remember when I first saw "Life of Pi" by Ang Lee in 2012. I couldn't believe how beautiful the film was. The use of color is just breathtaking in this film. I personally consider this movie as Ang Lee's peak in his career. "Life of Pi" won four Academy awards including Best Director and Best Visual Effects in 2013.

3. Amelie (2001)

I personally love Jean-Pierre Jeunet's cinematography. His movies make great use of primary color. Red, green, and yellow beautifully harmonize with the romantic tone in the movie.

4. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

Zhang Yimou's masterpiece "Raise the Red Lantern" is a beautiful film in terms of color, story, and acting. Color plays a predominant role in the movie where metaphors and color symbolism are everywhere. Highly recommended if you did not see this film yet!

5. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Tim Burton made interesting choices of color in "Edward Scissorhands" in order to make contrasts. Whereas Edward is in black and white, the rest is in pastels. It is easy to make assumptions that Edward is evil and the rest is good. I think this movie is a great example that alters normal interpretations of good and evil using color.

6. Hero (2002)

In "Hero", different color represents different characters and their inner worlds. There are very clear distinctions each scene using color. This movie has many eye-catching visual effects including not just the color, but also the composition and the martial arts.

What are your favorite movie color palettes?



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