Monday, December 7, 2009

Dec 7/8: Sita [Updated]

Note: I'm afraid I can't handle a post a day any longer (to be honest, I didn't expect you to play along in the first place, but I'm really happy about it). For the time being, I will try to post a new question every other day. For today's question look on the bottom of this post.

 
Don't get frustrated if you guess wrong. Technically there is no way to know the correct color for sure if you haven't seen the picture (or film) before, because there is never just one color possible. The colors that are in the film are there as a result of choices the makers made for several reasons. Great artists follow their intuition and still adhere to all the "rules" of composition and color theory without thinking about them. Still, the result can be analyzed and some of these reasons can be understood in the context of the film or its historical circumstances. Sometimes even the most unexpected colors look organic in context, but we wouldn't pick them if we had to guess from a gray scale image.

What I like about guessing colors is that it helps sharpen our preception in other films and even everyday life. It has been said that humans possess a poor color memory. I personally doubt that, it's just something that most of us don't cultivate. So if you have seen one of the pictures before and as a result you remember the correct color easily, it shows that you already have developed an eye for this. Sometimes there's even a narrative reason why you remember a color as in the example of Steal Wool where the suspending bridge is made out of fire crackers which are traditionally red in cartoons.


If I'd shown you this picture you would have probably all guessed right. By the way, red is already firmly established in the cartoon before (nose and attendance clock):




Today's image comes from Nina Paley's one-woman-show Sita Sings the Blues, a film whose visual appeal relies heavily on the lush vibrant colors. The following is from one of my favorite scenes. It is visualizing Annette Hanshaw's rendition of "Am I Blue".




What color is the priest wearing?
In case you are new, THIS is how it works.





A                         B                         C                          D 
Yes, it was A.



5 comments:

Soriah said...

This is one is easy! Well it's only easy for me because I watched the film four times now! Not to mention it was also my favorite scene in this very color enriched movie. The priest is wearing orange, "A."

Even if I haven't seen the film, "A" would have been the better choice since his orange robe would set him clearly apart from the complementary blue background.

I'm really loving these color prediction post and I can't wait for more even if it's every other day. To be honestly I don't mind at all.

Shannon.Doran. said...

ah-ha! the bridge makes sense now!

I rally enjoy the style of this new image, I'll have to look it up. I'll guess orange, but it may be pink as well- primary or complementary..

Aaron said...

I am going 'B'. 'A' seems to close in hue to the skin tone of the priest.

sunny kharbanda said...

It's A.
For once, it's not a guess. I have the unfair advantage of being Indian (and having seen the movie).

But I completely agree with what you said about the practice of guessing colors.. it's making me more aware of color in movies and animation. Thanks!

filmkaravan said...

Bring Sita home with a DVD of
SITA SINGS THE BLUES

Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B002G50002
Rent on Netflix: http://tinyurl.com/ybbqd7b



Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as "the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told."

Need another reason why? Check out Roger Eberts Review! http://tinyurl.com/ebert-on-sita