See How Colors In Your Favorite Movies Subtly Convey Themes

This short film reveals how directors like Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola and Stanley Kubrick use certain colors for an extra layer of meaning.

WHAT: Color Psychology, a short film about how color is used in movies.


WHO: Audiovisual media student Lilly Mtz-Seara.

WHY WE CARE: Color has a lot more work to do in a movie beyond just keeping it visually interesting. The right level of saturation, for instance, immediately communicates that we’re currently in a flashback. Color Psychology, however, uses clips from over 60 films to show some more subtly evocative ways directors tend to use color. The short starts off with Color 101, more or less, letting viewers know that pink does in fact represent femininity and that red is visual shorthand for violence. After that, though, things get less obvious. For instance, an orange hue is often used to convey sociability, warmth, and youth. Watch the whole short and then use it to evaluate the outfits of those you love.

[via Devour]

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.