Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
The Chromophilic Chromophobe: Transference of Racial Otherness in The Royal Tenebaums
In this essay, I will analyze the role that color plays in the construction of cinematic otherness through close textual analysis of Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums. Drawing from studies of phenomenology of whiteness and space, and of the effects of color in cinema, I will examine the relationship between characters, their surroundings, and the colors around them in order to highlight a paradox between the ways in which whiteness becomes normalized in the characters, and how what I’ll refer to as Anderson’s “chromophilic” approach to filmmaking actually negotiates and reinforces racial power dynamics, even though race doesn’t appear (on the surface or narrative level) to be discussed or treated in a meaningful way. By exposing how colors — not just black and white, but also the bright pinks, reds, purples, and blues Anderson’s films are known for — can create a subtle discourse of racial, gender, and sexual politics in film, I hope to show how systemic modes of racism, sexism, and heterosexism depend on invisibility. I will show that even when these social structures are not evident and obvious, they are always being negotiated through other mechanisms such as color design and film style.
Hill, Reginald, "The Chromophilic Chromophobe: Transference of Racial Otherness in Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2015.
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