Well, it was only a matter of time before I did something about the Matrix, wasn’t it? Quintessential nerd movie that has already been endlessly picked apart. Well, what’s one more?
Colour plays an important role in the Matrix movies. The tinting is as much a part of the mise-en-scene* as the set and props, giving the viewer subtle clues as to the nature of the setting. Scenes taking place within the matrix are tinted green, scenes taking place on board the ships in the ‘real world’ are tinted blue and Scenes taking place within ‘zion’ are tinted brown. he truly hardcore Matrix nerds have used these ‘clues’ as part of some obsessively detailed theories regarding the underlying meaning of the Matrix movies.
Pixar make some stunning movies. You could complain that their stories are pretty basic but from a visual standpoint, there’s no disputing their beauty.
One thing I love about these movies is the amount of effort that goes into choosing the colour palette for the movie. Yet, because of the speed of the action, this work barely even get noticed.
So what would it look like if we strip out the ‘image’ from these images, and leave only the colour information?
I used the Incredibles for this experiment because it’s my favourite Pixar movie so far. Incidentally, there’s an “Art of the Incredibles“-sized space on my bookshelf, in case anyone feels like filling it for me. Continue reading →
I know it’s Star Wars, but… oh look, I just had to, okay?
With movies laid flat like this, it’s very easy to see how movies are structured. Much easier than actually watching them as movies. Now, this lead to a question: how are different versions of the same movie constructed? For example, how is Apocalypse Now structured compared to Apocalypse Now Redux? How does the American release of The Shining compare to the European version? Or, better still, just exactly how “shot for shot” was Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho?
When movies are torn apart and stitched back together like this, it lets you see the movie with a completely different perspective. Presenting them as one flat image, rather than a fast-moving sequence of images essentially allows one to, uh… ‘see through time’, so to speak. The editing is torn apart and the pacing of the movie is laid bare, for all to see.
Koyaanisqatsi (an old favourite here at lowbrowculture) is a movie stripped to its fewest components. It is a movie that is all about the image and the editing. So that’s probably a pretty good place to start.