Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Exhibition: Capturing Colour

On Sunday I treated the Offsprogs to a mega-breakfast in the Mock Turtle in Brighton, and breezy seafront walk thwarted by drizzle, we went to the Brighton Museum and saw a fabulous exhibition about the history of film colour.
There was a series of films by Melies from the early 1900s; one of them, Tit For Tat, was a subject after my own heart; a team of flickering and flittering lady butterflies capture the butterfly collector and pin him to a giant cork to give him a taste of his own medicine all in pinks and greys. Another of his films featured the court of a Sultan, replete with geniis, maidens, slaves and lots of yellow smoke (he seems to have been rather partial to smoke).
In the most surreal, a little train puffs up a mountain and just carries on up into the sky,  up to the face of a moody moon who exhales clouds of magenta steam as the train disappears into its mouth. On the surface  of the moon, the passengers tumble out of the wreckage of the train, confused and relieved; they hug each other, making sure they don't miss anyone out. Sweeeet!
I liked Len Lye's film, A Colour Box, from 1935. He worked directly on to the film, painting, scratching and stencilling patterns that change in a linear kaleidoscope of brilliant hues to a soundtrack of Cuban and Hawaiian dance music. Eat yer heart out, pop video!
Then there were these little coats, waiting for children to put them on and wander round making zoetropes and things; there were crayons in pots and half -finished drawings left by kids in a hurry.
The Brighton Museum is a great place to visit at the best of times but double great with this exhibition- worth a day trip from Lunnon, definitely!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Len's film was originally made to advertise the postal service. Pity the postal service is no longer held in the same esteem now.