How filmmakers manipulate our emotions using color

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O Brother Where Art Thou owes much to Chinatown I think.

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‘Red advances. Blue recedes.’ A bit of graphical lore I picked up in art college.

On a different note, wasn’t Saving Private Ryan given the colour grading treatment before Brother, Where Art Thou?

On another different note, that ‘experiment’ in the video clip was too short to get any mood out of, but luckily they supplied mood music to cue the viewers in.


Manipulate seems strong when they are using visuals to convey an emotion in a visual media built to convey a narrative. That’s a bit like saying a book is manipulating our sense by using adjectives.

Also, Guillermo del Toro is a master at use of color to convey a message. Even Pacific Rim’s visuals build a incredible characterization of Mako who carries blue color to her hair to match the grim blue scene where she would have died is Stacker was not there, to the red shoes she carried in that scene. PT was also a great example of conveying complex events in color.


“Amelie” is a great French movie shot in green tinting. I didn’t notice until I was told after the second or third time watching it.

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I refuse to believe Hollywood knows about any colours other than orange and teal…


Yeah - it’s orange and teal, not orange and blue, as The Verge says.

But it does manipulate my emotions unfailingly into rage.

Really. I miss my real world colors.

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I didn’t notice the green tint on all the Matrix scenes until I read about it.

Watch South Pacific. Especially the Bali Hai scene for absolute over the top use of a color wheel in film.



O brother

Something primal is missing from the second image.

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The overbearing music made the exercise kind of hilariously stupid. It would be like if they did a test to see if color of food affected taste, then had you eat each different-colored food in a different room with a different overbearing smell, or something.

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