Inlook into the usage of the Color Red in the Film American Beauty

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Agustina Albassini

11th A English

American Beauty: The Treatment of the Color Red as a Concept

Red not only a symbol but also used by Ball as concept to convey several themes.

Concept: the life force → which, by nature, tries to defy the suppressiveness of suburban life. That's why, the first time we meet Annette Bening, she's cutting red roses. She's cutting the life force. Shortly thereafter, we see her emotional and spiritual control in action, such as during a painfully stilted family dinner. This already establishes her as the main suppressive force in the family.

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For Kevin Spacey, the life force which suburbia can't repress is sex. And so, in his fantasies, Mena Suvari, his object of lust, floats on a bed of red rose petals, or soaks in a tub covered in roses. In their final, near-sexual encounter, a vase of red roses is evident.

Peter Gallagher's (The ‘Real Estate King’) bus stop posters have a red background, for he unleashes Annette Bening's pent-up sexuality.

For Chris Cooper, the psycho ex-Marine, red is both sexuality and also the assertion of individuality. When he kisses Kevin Spacey, Kevin's bright red car ...

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