In contrast to my earlier post about the 25 Greatest Modern Black and White Movies, I wanted to share with you an essay by an old friend of mine. Michael Sprouse is a very talented visual artist, but today he takes a bit of time out of the studio to comment on this beautiful early Koachrome test footage:
Here is an excerpt from Michael’s essay:
One can’t help but be pulled into the performances by the actresses. The line between a color test and a surreal voiceless yet visual message from the past becomes blurred when watching the clip.
These performers seem to be reaching into your psyche and tapping you on the shoulder with a soft celluloid touch. In essence, these women with their fluttering eyes, fragile smiles and vamping longing are colorized ghosts from a distant cinematic past beckoning to connect to your emotional essence.
Perhaps, the non-vocalized emotions are buried yet even still deep within our being. There must be some connection as it is easy to identify what the characters are emoting in the clip even without scripted words. That recognition arises from internal knowing. This clip is emotionally akin to blowing off the dust from the cover of an old book found on the back of a forgotten shelf.
As you can tell, Michael is talented not only as a visual artist, but as a writer also, and I encourage you to head over to his blog to read the entire post. And while you’re there, be sure to check out some of his great original artwork, too.
- Color: A Balancing Act (artissima.wordpress.com)
- Going Monochrome (astoldbydee.wordpress.com)
- Fascinating Early Color Film (sprouseart.blogspot.com)