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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The unusual fades in Three Colours: Blue and Cries and Whispers

1/ In Three Colours: Blue, there is something unusual in editing that I’ve never seen in films before: several times there’s a fade-out and then a fade-in back to the same scene.
Example:





These fades therefore do not mean a transition; they are to denote a pause, a fall of sorts, a moment in which Julie is lost in thought, and then gets back to the present. Because Blue is an “internal” film, mostly about depicting Julie’s mind on screen, it works beautifully.

2/ Yesterday I watched Cries and Whispers. Ingmar Bergman does something I’ve never seen before: fade to/ from red, instead of the usual black.
Example:











There are 3 main colours in the film: red, white, and black. The women wear white in the 1st half, then after Agnes dies, they switch to black. There are only 2 scenes in which we see the colour green of the grass—scenes of happier days when the sisters are harmonious. Cries and Whispers is a film about dying, love, sexual passion, blood (mutilation), hatred and death, and red pervades the film.
The fades, used for dramatic emphasis, are very effective.




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Thoughts as a film student: I must try both of these at some point. 

8 comments:

  1. Around the time of “Cries and Whispers”, Bergman also directed Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” on stage. (I didn’t see this – I’ve only read about this.) There, too, the wallpaper, the carpet, were all blood-red. In the climactic scene, where Hedda burns the manuscript, Hedda (played by Liv Ullman) first turned out all the lights, and then opened the stove (which was placed centre stage, where the prompter’s box usually is), and knelt down in front of the open stove, so her face, facing the audience full-on, is lit only by the flickering red light from inside the stove.

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    1. That's interesting.
      Have you seen anything by Zhang Yimou? That's a director that several times used red as a dominant colour in his films.

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  2. There's one scene - just one - in "Howards End" where Ivory uses the fade-to-black-then-back technique. A married couple is arguing, viewed at a bit of a distance. It is a "time passing" gesture. The parts we see become more like tableaux.

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    1. Then that is different. I haven't seen that film though, so can't comment.

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  3. So did you check out A Contrary Wind? What did you think?

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    1. Hahahahaha. No.
      I'm focusing on films these days, but my plan is that I'll soon read Life and Fate. Would you like to join the read-along?

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    2. Sure thing. So long as we don't make a habit of it. Heh. But you will have to give me till September. For i am currently working on a story and want to give it one last good shot before giving it up once and all as a bad job. (I have a sneaking suspicion that i maybe punching above my weight with this one.) ;)

      Or i can skip this one, and then we can read The Master and Margarita together. (For no other reason than that i have a free copy available.) Whatever you say.

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    3. Oh no, the plan for Life and Fate is in June. This month.
      I doubt that I'll read The Master and Margarita any time soon, haha. Busy.
      Good luck with the story.

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