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Film Essay

2087 words - 9 pages

Colour and lighting are used to depict the narrative of a film in spite of other elements of film style. Colour attracts attention and creates ambience of a film affecting the perception of the audiences (Boggs & Petrie, 2004, p. 204). In the meantime, lighting, which is essential to make a film, helps to create different meanings presented by one scene. Memories of Matsuko (Tetsuya Nakashima, 2006) uses a rich colour palette and different features of lighting throughout the whole movie to portray different stages of Matsuko’s life. A particular scene is chosen to study on the fantasy diegesis created. It is a scene after Matsuko becomes the mistress of Okano, and tracks him back to his house. She is satisfied after meeting Okano’s wife, imagining that Okano will divorce with his wife for her sake. Another film selected to make a comparison is a Taiwanese-Chinese film Starry Starry Night (Tom Shu-Yu Lin, 2011), based on an illustrated book by Jimmy Liao. The scene chosen from this film happens when Mei and Jay are on the train going to Mei’s grandfather’s shack on the outskirts of the city to watch the splendid starry night. Both of the scenes form a fantasy diegesis as a depiction of desire, innocence, happiness and pursuit of dream. They reflect the imagination of the characters. However the colour effects and lighting used are different in these two scenes.
Throughout the chosen scene in Memories of Matsuko, an extremely rich colour palette is applied. From the flowers planted in front of Okano’s house, to the imagined flowers and birds along the road and finally the pathway leading to ‘the moon’, a warm colour palette is used in major. It is defined as a surrealistic use of colour as this scene has “an oddly dreamlike or unreal quality” (Boggs & Petrie, 2004, p. 218). This effect is used to create the fantasy in Matsuko’s imaginary world. It mainly uses red, yellow and orange colours to create the ambience of happiness and warmness, even Matsuko herself wears in pink colour. This implies that her entire life will be colourful and meaningful if she marries Okano and becomes his wife officially and alternatively. As compared to Okano’s wife who wears in plain blue shirt and looks less attractive, it is appropriate for Matsuko to dream that Okano will divorce with his wife and create a perfect life together with her. The whole scene is lack of verisimilitude, by adding in the animations of birds and the moon. These make the scene looks like nothing more than just a dream. At the last sequence of the scene, Matsuko is running on a pathway surrounded by fantastic images of plants and hills. These are also a symbol of ideal and fantastic life. She is running towards the moon, with Okano’s face, cheerfully and relaxingly. The scene ends when Matsuko greets her lover in fancy with open arms, and the imagined gentle voice of Okano. All of these elements have portrayed Matsuko’s desire of being loved and belonged, and also the pursuit of a stable...

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