The aesthetic called a “touch of color” or “dash of color” has been used in still art, photography, and film for years. The aesthetic uses backdrops or settings that are substantially desaturated or even gray-scale with a single saturated element. It forces an instant response from audience to focus on the saturated element and uses the extreme contrast to dramatize the scene.
One of the most famous early examples of this aesthetic comes from the French film “The Red Balloon” directed by Albert Lamorisse, as seen below. The dash of color exhibited by the balloon creates feelings of hope and frivolity.
The following images use the “touch of color” aesthetic to similarly invoke positive feelings in the audience using different colors.
In juxtaposition with “The Red Balloon”, The films “Sin City” and “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” are modern, graphic novel-themed takes on the noir films of old that use the “touch of color” aesthetic, specifically with red, to invoke feelings of shock, dread, and excitement by highlighting the extreme aggressive and violent nature of its male characters as well as hyper-sexuality of its female characters.
Beautiful Girl. Digital image. Media Cache. Media Cache, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017. <https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/5a/9e/69/5a9e69cd4d451ab20aabd77c2b50da29.jpg>.
Goldie. Digital image. Tboake. Tboake, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017. <http://www.tboake.com/film_06/sincity/SIN_CITY_RECUT%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20-123_resize.jpg>.
Kevin. Digital image. Avclub. Avclub, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017. <http://i.onionstatic.com/avclub/5502/80/16×9/960.jpg>.
Marv. Digital image. Youtube Images. Youtube, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017. <https://i.ytimg.com/vi/OqvYwxNzjO8/maxresdefault.jpg>.
ModArt. Digital image. Media Cache. Media Cache, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017. <https://keithandthemovies.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/red-balloon.jpg>.
Red Balloon – The Opening. Dir. Albert Lamorisse. Perf. Pascal Lamorisse. Youtube. Youtube, 3 Jan. 2013. Web. 24 Jan. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z__JAVAJcE0>.
Sin City: Stills : 1629. Digital image. Moviesmademe. Movies Made Me, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017. <http://www.moviesmademe.com/stills/460_16929.jpg>.