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Steven Peacock

This article offers an alternative to the predominant and pervasive theoretical approaches to discussing time in film. It adheres to ordinary language, and moves away from a ‘mapping’ of theoretical models or contextual analysis to concentrate on a films specifics. It considers the particular handling of time in a particular film: The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, 1993). Fixing on specific points of style, the article examines the interplay of time and gesture, and the editing techniques of ellipses and dissolves. Both the article and the film hold their attention on the intricacy and intimacy afforded by moments, as they pass. Both explore how the intensity of a lovers relationship over decades is expressed in fleeting passages of shared time. In doing so, the article advances a vocabulary of criticism to match the rhetoric of the film, to appreciate the works handling of time. Detailed consideration of this achievement allows for a greater understanding of the designs and possibilities of time in cinema.

Film Studies
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Author: Steven Peacock

Film writing has rather overlooked cinematic colour. In a scrutiny of cinematic moments, and when colour comes to the fore, films open up in new ways. This book explores a spectrum of colourful applications. It begins by considering films that use colour in sparing amounts, and moves on to discuss increasingly abundant displays. While highlighting the use of colour, the book also considers the connections between different stylistic elements such as camerawork, editing, performance, music, and lighting. It also offers an alternative to national, socio-political, and historically chronological approaches to film style. Six films present chromatic measures moving from understatement to amplification. Leading from one end of narrative cinema's colour spectrum, the book examines Three Colours: White. It then explores Equinox Flower hat is similarly restrained and concerned with reservation. The book discusses how delicate colours accrue to convey a fragile sensibility in The Green Ray. Written on the Wind is about Technicolor schemes. It also considers the resemblances, after Sirk's work, of a film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Next, it addresses The Umbrellas of Cherbourg as a multicoloured fantasia of the everyday. The music, story, and colour combine and clash in surprising ways in this film, in shifting forms of the 'style-subject economy'. The book looks for language matching the rhetoric of the films under scrutiny. It notes and moves beyond generally inscribed meanings of certain colours, paying attention to shifting connections and comparisons.

Novel, film, television
Author: Steven Peacock

Swedish crime fiction became an international phenomenon in the first decade of the twenty-first century, starting with novels but then percolating through Swedish-language television serials and films into English-language BBC productions and Hollywood remakes. This book looks at the rich history of Nordic noir, examines the appeal of this particular genre, and attempt to reveal why it is distinct from the plethora of other crime fictions.

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Steven Peacock

This chapter presents some text with remarks on colour that address a hesitation in Film Studies to engage with this stylistic element. Steve Neale's Cinema and Technology: Image, Sound, Colour remains a keystone work, considering colour's development alongside other technological advancements of film. Though central to the plastics of cinema, colour often goes unacknowledged. This introduction presents the key concepts discusses in the subsequent chapters of this book. To give space to the intricacies and complexities of colour on display in exemplary works, the book focuses on six films. The films are Three Colours: White; Equinox Flower; The Green Ray; Written on the Wind; Fear Eats the Soul; and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. As well as focusing on colour, the book offers an alternative to national, socio-political, and historically chronological approaches to film style.

in Colour
Steven Peacock

For Kieslowski, white suggests the potentiality for a new beginning, its blankness a tabula rasa ready for inscription through experience. In Three Colours: White, Kieslowski strips back the cinematic palette to a bleached state, combining white with greys and silvers in a washed-out world. This chapter explores how the film conveys emotional impenetrability in densities of whiteness. Existing without shade or hue, white's essential solidness is fundamental to the film's concerns. Immersing itself in the workings of one colour, the film orchestrates precise arrangements of white, reflecting in its blank surfaces the depth and complexities of thematic patterns. The three films of the Three Colours trilogy are Blue, White, and Red. In the Three Colours trilogy, absorptions of colour suggest the female characters' states of interiority. Through 'implication, suggestion, and evocation', the three colours are individually expressive of three 'unknown' women's inner lives.

in Colour
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Steven Peacock

Released in 1958, Equinox Flower brings to an end Ozu's longstanding resistance to the use of colour in film. Just as City Lights holds onto many aspects of silent cinema, monochrome pervades Equinox Flower. The title of the film refers to the red higanbana flower that blooms during the autumn equinox in Japan. The film channels attention on small applications and various shades of the colour red. In Equinox Flower, a father gradually, reluctantly warms to his young daughter's chosen suitor. The film explores the connection between black-and-white trappings and tradition. Finally, film and father broaden their outlooks together. In the concluding scenes, Equinox Flower opens out the setting, moving from the confines of the home to the wider vistas of a golf club. The golf flags, painted in red and yellow stripes, bear the film's colours of marriage.

in Colour
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Steven Peacock

This chapter presents a few lines from Jules Verne's novel The Green Ray that make a good place to start, not only in opening up concerns of colour in the film to hand, but also as introducing thoughts of Eric Rohmer's particular style of filmmaking. The Green Ray focuses on the different experiences that shade into one another during one summer's hazy plans. Greenery brushes the first shot's borders. Similarly to Three Colours: White and Equinox Flower, one particular colour is prominent in The Green Ray. As the film's title suggests, shades of green comprise not only the 'story within a story' but also the key colour motif. Bold and pastel colours clash in moments of close physical gathering, especially around dinner tables. The film finally releases a glimmer of hope, held in a glimpse of the green ray.

in Colour
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Steven Peacock

In Written on the Wind, colour is 'perfectly thematised' as representative of both the characters' largesse, and their 'emotional and psychological predicaments.' As part of a carefully organised aesthetic, the use of Technicolor comes with the notoriously stringent regulations enforced on every production bearing that company's mark. Showy colours match aspects of the characters' declamatory presence, but also prickle with subliminal energies. Although Written on the Wind appears after Kalmus' reign at Technicolor, it follows her blueprint under the watchful eye of the colour consultant on set, William Fritzsche. In a scene where Lucy carelessly dumps the placard, colour is crucial to the act's significance, and opens a key motif. The red of the placard is one of a small number of colours that connects Lucy and Kyle in particular ways. Embracing the Technicolor spectrum, Written on the Wind introduces pinks in sparing amounts and indirect ways.

in Colour
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Steven Peacock

This reading of Fear Eats the Soul sees colour as crucial to the apparently contradictory elements of Fassbinder's powerful 'antistyle'. A consideration of Fear Eats the Soul after Written on the Wind matches Fassbinder's ardent following of Douglas Sirk's melodramatic art. The reading of is presented as a short, dense take on one of Fassbinder's 'short, tough tales. Fassbinder's aesthetic is rife with impulses pushing in different directions: putative opposites that somehow mesh. Thomson describes a cinema of social realism and formal experimentalism. Fassbinder fills everyday settings with artifice and illusion to get to life's truths. His films comprise an immersion in the plastic arts of cinema, celebrating the medium's potentialities even as they pull it apart. Repeatedly across his films, tables, coverings, and the walls of empty or sparingly occupied settings appear in searing colours.

in Colour
Steven Peacock

This chapter introduces a different fit to colour and meaning's style-subject relationship. It addresses a narrative film that involves more abstract and non-figurative uses of colour. The intense colours in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg often meet the film's storylines. Equally, though, the colourful arrays also spin and soar away, performing a dramatic dance of their own. As the title of Jonathan Rosenbaum's article on the film declares, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg sings 'Songs in the Key of Everyday Life'. The film has a solid narrative framework, presenting people with an intricate story of romantic love in a French town. There is also the film's relationship with painting to consider. In the spirit of the film's splintered framework, the following reading focuses on separate patterns of shapes and colours that often coexist in the frame, looking at aspects of 'concord' and 'discord' in Umbrellas' fragmented designs.

in Colour