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Friday, March 13 • 9:30am - 10:20am
Chromatic Lighting in Science Fiction Films

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Vibrantly flashing spaceships, brightly glowing control lamps and flaming laser weapons—these are typical elements of science fiction films. The creative use of chromatic lights in particular became a recurring stylistic pattern marking the strange and the dangerous in Sci-Fi films shot on chromogenic film stock after 1950.

Starting from a corpus of films from the 1950s to the 1990s, this paper addresses questions such as: Why are aliens recurrently staged with filtered lights up to the 1970s, but not after? And how do coloured lights effect the spatial organization of the filmic image? For this analysis, the concept of defamiliarization provides a useful tool for locating the functions of chromatic lighting as a formal pattern.

Based on David Bordwell’s historical poetics, the aesthetic phenomenon is going to be examined in close proximity to institutional practices and to developments in colour film technology—with special consideration of film stocks and their reaction to this specific type of lighting.

avatar for Joëlle Kost

Joëlle Kost

PhD Candidate, ERC Advanced Grant FilmColors

Friday March 13, 2020 9:30am - 10:20am GMT
NFT3/ BFI Southbank

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