Color in the Epic Film: Alexander and Hero
ResumoA key feature of the epic genre since the appearance of the tinted and stenciled Italian epics of the 1910’s, color technology and design constitutes a direct line of formal innovation that extends from the earliest iterations of the epic film to the exalted color symphonies of the present. The significance of color in the epic, however, has largely been ignored. In this essay, I argue that color design complicates the traditional understanding of epic form as a conservative, nation-centric genre, governed by what Gilles Deleuze calls a critical-ethical horizon. The recent epics Alexander and Hero provide a case in point: in each film, color design articulates a range of messages that provide a new way of understanding these works, and that illuminate the use of color in the long history of the epic genre.2
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