9 December 2011

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN - (Dir. Lynne Ramsay, 2011, UK/USA)

One of the best posters of the year.

To say that director Lynne Ramsay's third feature is a bit special would be a tragic understatement. This is certainly one of the best films of the year. Of all the films I have seen this year We need to talk about Kevin is visually superior by quite a margin. Some critics have labelled this a horror film and it is certainly full of dread and anxiety. Although Tilda Swinton's performance has been much praised, it is Lynne Ramsay's eye catching framing and compositions that steal the show. She has a very strong eye for detail that supports the elliptical and fragmented narrative structure. It has been a while since a film made such bold, expressive use of the colour red. The presence of red seeps into every frame, threatening at times to spill over and consume the entire film. Aesthetically, the symbolism that Ramsay attaches to the colour red becomes a concrete iconographic link to the horror genre. The red in the film merges the present with the past and takes on a much larger metaphysical dimension. It got me thinking about films which I have seen over the years in which the colour red is used creatively. Here are a few thoughts in the form of a (very quick though - hit space bar to slow down) slideshow:

A brief slideshow of films that make expressive use of the colour red.


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