• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Pleasantville, the use of colour

Extracts from this document...


Discuss why the film makers decided to use both black and white and colour in "Pleasantville" Pleasantville was released in September 1998 but is set mostly in a 1950s sitcom after the main characters are sent into a televison because the two main characters, David and Jennifer broke their television remote; disabling their television. Gary Ross uses colour to make the viewer think about important events in history, to put across some important messages and also, using colour small referances are made throughout the film to historical events. His main messages are about communism and the mcarthy era in the 1940s to 50s, the black rights movement and a sense of an idealistic reality. This is all shown by the gradual changing of the colour of objects and people in Pleasantville. The Mcarthy era was a time during the cold war from the late 1940s to the late 1950s where America was afraid of communism. It was named to critisize the actions and followers or Senitor Mcarthy who lead many political witch hunts, however the mcarthy period extended back before Senetor Mcarthy had a part in it and the term is used to generalise this period in time. ...read more.


The other major historical event pictured is the major African-American civil rights movement in the late 1950s. This is depicted by coloured people (signfying the African American people) being segregated from the 'black and white' people (signifying the 'white), this is evident in the courtroom scene colour divided scenes, very much like the relationship between white supremists and the black population of America at that time. In the film Pleasantville, in the courtroom scene the black and white people are allowed to sit comfortably downstairs, where the 'coloured' people are made to stand upstairs on the balcony seperatly. Colour is used again here to show the differences between the two classes of people in Pleasantville. Also many novels are mentioned in 'Pleasantville' that are about segregation and black rights such as 'To Kill a Mockingbird' which is about the conformist divides in a town in Alabama in the 1930s. In Pleasantville, the 'coloured' people and their friends and people seen to be accosiated with them are treated badly by the 'black and white' people. ...read more.


A good example of this is sex, as before Jennifer (or Mary-Sue) came to Pleasantville no-one knew what sex was. After more of these ideals being introduced, more colour appears, first very subtly with a red rose appearing on a rose bush and then more boldly with Skip fully turning into 'colour' after having sex with Mary-Sue. As colour is introduced a sense of 'normality' appears and things begin to happen such as a tree spontaniously catches on fire (which is in technicolour) as a direct action of Betty masturbating in the bath. However the firefighters, not knowing what to do with a fire as the 'perfect' team have only ever had to rescue cats from trees. Eventually as 'normality' returns the whole of Pleasantville is submerged in colour. Without the change from black and white to colour, 'Pleasantville' would not be the same film as it is today. Ross used both black and white and colour to portray differences between the two 'clases' of people living in Pleasantville. Without this technique, there would be no subtle way of symbolising this. It is surprising that the use of a small technique can create so much more depth in a film than if it is just in one colour. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work