Tinting the senses, adjusting the gaze: colouring versus close-up as a means to draw viewers into visual works

Doro Wiese
2016 Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics  
This essay discusses the effects of two stylistic devices used in a graphic novel and a film, both entitled Blue is the Warmest Color. In the case of the graphic novel, written by the French comic-book writer Julie Maroh, her use of the colour blue will be focused upon. Since large parts of the graphic novel are drawn in sepia tones, certain blue items are highlighted and stand out. This highlighting will be analysed by connecting it to insights established by the French philosopher Luce
more » ... y. Irigaray links the use of colour in paintingliterally and metaphorically understood as a way to create space and temporalityto the establishment of a singular and subjective perspective. Since the graphic novel Blue is the Warmest Color is simultaneously a romance, a coming-of-age story, and a coming out story, Irigaray's call for a unique perspective is connected to Maroh's aim to make lesbian desire available as a choice. Maroh's use of colour will subsequently be contrasted with French filmdirector Abdellatif Kechiche's prominent use of close-ups in his feature film of the same name. To analyse the use of the close-up, this essay will make use of Mary Ann Doane's analysis of the disconcerting effects it produces. In her view, the close-up is an image that is severed from its context, from time, from place, and from narrative. This research will show that the viewers' alignment with the camera will bring embodied social hierarchies back into the viewing process when seeing Kechiche's film.
doi:10.1080/21504857.2016.1180540 fatcat:gkqi4zqonfcrhig24nfeniadvi