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Weekend Recs: Colorful Films

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week.

Photo from Vidsplay on Wikimedia Commons

No, it’s not a euphemism. I really mean films that use a lot of color in their cinematography. This might seem a bit niche, but with the popularity of HBO’s Euphoria and the rise of indie studio A24, colorful, aesthetically pleasing films with an emphasis on colorful cinematography are booming. What once was distinct for directors like Wes Anderson is now becoming a norm among many filmmakers, both indie and mainstream.

This weekend’s recs will help you appreciate films that pay special attention to color and its role in representing narrative and emotion.

If you have 28 seconds…and want to appreciate the spectrum of colors in film, watch this TikTok.

If you have 2 minutes and 53 seconds…and like pop music, watch Olivia Rodrigo’s music video for “brutal.” The video’s director Petra Collins is actually the creative behind Euphoria‘s distinct aesthetic, originally working as the show’s director until Sam Levinson was asked to take over. If you like this music video, Petra Collins and Olivia Rodrigo have also worked together on the music videos for “good 4 u” and “bad idea right?”

If you have 15 minutes…and liked Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie, read this article about how it was so pink that it actually resulted in a pink paint shortage.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

If you have 1 hour and 49 minuteswatch The Royal Tenebaums (or any other Wes Anderson film), available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. Wes Anderson’s films are known for their distinctive aesthetically pleasing color palettes. Although its color palette isn’t quite as recognized as The Grand Budapest Hotel, it’s still perfect for those who love visually stunning films.

Bonus: read this article from the New York Times about a past TikTok trend where people Wes Anderson-ified the world around them.

If you have 1 hour and 51 minuteswatch Moonlight, available to stream through Falvey. This queer coming-of-age (of sorts) film is beautiful both in story and in cinematography, in which color plays a large role. Plus, it has Janelle MonĂ¡e in it, which is always a win as far as I’m concerned.

If you have 2 hours and 20 minutes…and love expressive animation, watch Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Not only is the movie a total win for Spider-Man fans, the animation of this movie is absolutely stunning and plays around with several unique and colorful styles.

Bonus: if you want a live-action comedic action movie, watch Bullet Train, my personal favorite movie of 2022. It’s jam-packed with recognizable actors, creative fight choreography, humor, and, of course, colorful cinematography.

If you have 5 hours…and haven’t read it since middle school, read The Giver, available online through Falvey. It might seem contradictory to choose a book set in a society where people on see in black and white, but as Jonas’ story progresses, this book will make you appreciate color even more.

Annie Stockmal is a second-year graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant in Falvey Library.

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Last Modified: November 3, 2023

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