Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Confession of A Colour Blind Film Fan.

This morning I had a dream.

I was in this woodenish restaurant (later turned out to be a motel one, as you will find out if you read are reading on, aren't ya?). And in walks Clint Eastwood. I was as giddy as a school boy who found a treasure trove of ice cream and chocolates, and perhaps a stash of porn DVDs.

I wanted an autograph, and searched about my laptop bag and the only thing I found was this hardbound book called Soldiers and Spies. I don't know if the book existed in real life, but the cover had a WWII soldier hanging from a parachute. He's probably a spy too.

Anyway, as I got the book out, Eastwood (in his current grizzly old bloke look) walked out....and I stalked, I mean, I followed him. We cut to a very roadside motel like place, and he reached a door and opened it when I approached him. "Sir," I said, because calling him by his name might invite a bullet in my belly through unnatural manner.

"Sir, can I have your autograph?" I asked, in same way that kid in Oliver Twist asked for second helping of porridge. Eastwood snarled, and grabbed my book, took my pen and scratched something inside the cover. "Now gittoutahere," he grunted or rasped. (That's how we all remembered his dialogue deliver, grunt, snarl, rasp and painful whisper, though he did a lot more actually if you watch other, more funnier movies).

Coming to the point of this post, I noticed that like almost all of my dreams, this one was almost devoid of colour, literally. The reason is simple, I am colour blind. Or is it my fascination with films that are devoid of colours or are just black and white?

You see, I am colour blind in real life and almost all of my dreams are almost in black and white. Is that normal? I would be baffled ifi someone talked about colourful dreams. But seeing that I am a film fan, once a fanatic, I can see the reason why. The films themselves.

Let us break it down according to some important film directors, as most of them are, to use film student (hate whole Film Student thing) language, aueters and they, the directors, not the damned film students, determine the look of the film. Here are some of my favourites:

Martin Scorcese

Am a fan of his flicks from Mean Streets to Casino. After that someone impersonating him took over and even got that black caterpillar above his eyes right. Those pre-Casino films are all pretty dull when it comes to colour. Why? Because they didn't have De Caprio. Kidding.

Of course, he said Fuck that, and made Raging Bull totally in black and white. Even the awesome but terribly sombre Taxi Driver had only the cab in bright Yellow, or it would not have been right. It would not have been the great New York, maybe its distant wannabe relative, Singapore.

You might argue that there were bright lights of Vegas in Casino, sure they are bright but the glitz and the glamour being the background, I can't remember any blue or red or yellow. That happens to be some of the colours I am familiar with apart from the ominous friends of a writer, Black and White.

Aside: The ending in Taxi Driver was bloody as hell, like almost literally, and to avoid severe rating, they had to filter or do something to subdue the red. Who are they kidding? They just want to please colour blinds like me. End of aside.

Sydney Lumet

If you don't know Sydney Lumet, you don't know how to use the Google. I have been first aware of this awesome director when I became post OO7 Sean Connery fan as well, and both did three films together (The Offenshe, The Andershon Tapesh, and The Family, check them out, they are aweshome). Both here refers to da Man and Lumet, not this pathetic writer and Connery.

Back to the topic, notice that Lumet's films are totally lacking in bright colour. Maybe because most of them are set in New York, but then the Big Apple do tend to be colourful, no? Never been there, and for those who have been there, let me know and I am sorry.

Francis Ford Coppola

Critics and film students (the latter which sounds more like worst profanity ever day by day) rave about the goddam oranges in the Godfather films.

Yes, bloody oranges.

It is there when sinister discussion is something sinister has happened and something sinisterly silly happened.

Brando was purchasing oranges when he got shot. He had sliced oranges that he slid between his lips to play "monster" with his irritating grandson when he succumbs to heart attack and died like a poor hobo.

The point, is, oranges were everywhere and I totally missed them. Apart from that, the film was dark and, yes, almost lacks bright colours.

Aside: A certain Coppola wannabe in Indian film industry, took the dark aspect to the extreme where you want to walk into his films with a torchlight. End of aside.

Speaking of orange, even the fantastic Agent Orange scene in Apocalypse Now did not look bright to me. The rest of the film might as well been shot in black and white. Speaking of which...

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg is the most interesting of all the beardos, because he made films that could be watched at any era without having the history baggage dragged by the audience. I never watched his first flick, Sugarland Express, and pretty much watched everything else including the forgotten 1941

Remember that flick? No? Well, you can...okay, you have started Googling already. Kids these days.
Anyway, 1941 was a film filled with comedians and were as funny as last week's slice of bread. It had John (not Jim) Belushi fergad's sake. Not surprisingly it failed, and colour? What colour you need for a film with WWII as background.

Then, take the film that made people even scared of taking shower, Jaws. Can you remember any bright colour in that movie? He could have made movies about murderous goldfish, but no, he had to pick the dull, colourless goddam shark.

This is the part where you want to send a hit man after me, yes, I have not seen E.T and all those clips I saw were as colourful as a wing-less butterfly. The ET itself looked like one of those potatoes you can never peel with a peeler.

And then, Like Scorcese, Spielberg said, fuck that (I imagine these filmakers have limited profanity word skill) and made Schindler's List in Black and White entirely except one scene with a little girl in red. A nod in the Riding Hood direction and wolf or wolves (google again goddam Nazi and wolves), eh, Steven? You are hilarious.

Okay, the Indiana Jones movie were fun romps, but be honest, how much bright colours were there? 

Clint Eastwood

Finally, the man who started it all. The best director for Eastwood the actor is not Leone (Eastwood made up most of his lines, improvised with his cigar and basically had a free hand with the cinematograph and violence obsessed director), or even Donald Siegel. Blasphemy, I know, but the best director for Eastwood was himself.

Eastwood is notorious for having totally little bright colours in his film. Darkness, like Coppola, was his forte. In one scene where he was acting and directing (Outlaw Josey Wales), the director of photography complained that he couldn't see Eastwood in that scene. The latter asked if the DOP can hear him, and sure everyone can, and Eastwood asked him to go the fuck ahead with the take.

A man, and squint, that helped to make millions in the box office, didn't mind being in the dark on celluloid, literally.

Forget colours, even in the notoriously unfunny comedy Pink Cadillac, the subject matter didn't quite look as pink as it should. 

Either that or it is just that I am colour blind.


So, I blame my colour blindness to these guys and their films. The next time I see Eastwood in my dream, I am going to whip out a bunch of colourful cards and ask him to name the colours. Then, I would realise why he always goddam squinted.

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