• Gillian O'Donoghue

The use of colour in Rare Blood

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

How often do we watch a movie and take the colouring for granted?

If you study movies you will notice that colour is used to psychologically communicate to the viewers. Every genre favours a certain colour palette and colour is used to convey subtle nuances and symbolism to support the story telling. Colour is also used for aesthetic reasons but also to draw the audience in to a dramatic element that develops. An example of this is when Olga, walks into the scene with her blazing, red polo neck. We know subconsciously that trouble is brewing.

Often the leading characters are shown in a particular colour. In Rare Blood, Panos, the main character is introduced to us on his horse where he wears his dual purpose 'fixing up the bathroom' and 'horse riding' clothes, a denim shirt in dusty blue and steel grey trousers. The reason we used denim is to allude to his reckless and impulsive personality from the very beginning. We want him to be perceived as part wild, anti-establishment, mercurial and manic. The denim blue shirt and the dark trousers quickly create an impression of a man who is independent and a bit of a rebel. The scene with Panos supposedly fixing the bathroom is significant in that he is about to embark on destroying everything around him. The irony and ambiguity point ahead to what's to come.

Panos changes for dinner into a beige, colourless polo neck, dark blue blazer and neutral coloured trousers. The dinner scene features vivid and conflicting colours in the background while the supporting characters wear neutral shades allowing the viewer to focus on the exposition at the dinner table. Often beige is associated with a general sense of ease, but in Rare Blood it had a two-fold purpose of deliberately dulling the manic personality of Panos and to support the hopelessness of a dystopian existence.

Colour affects us, there's no question about it and is a strong device within a story.

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