It's no secret the Wes Anderson micromanages his films. Every detail is thought out to an obsessive level. And I love just about everything in Anderson's OCD world. But to a visual person like me, raised by artists in artists' colonies, there is nothing that plays on my synapses more eloquently than his color schemes. I loved the saffron yellows and turquoise blues of The Darjeeling Limited. But my real passion is the pink and red of The Royal Tenenbaums. Pure genius. Some rich saffron brought in to make the red more royal. This is a color scheme my brilliant grandmother would have approved of...and, in fact, used in the tea room of the chateau they restored in France. I'll have to dig up a picture of that and post it. A faded '70s pink in the book title is so authentic that one almost forgets the passage of years. Terracotta walls, combined with the colonial-era African artifacts, is stunning. This room? Perfection. It doesn't get any better than this. As a habitue of the dioramas at the Natural History museum as a child...and of Denver's somewhat more modest version as an adult, this scene made me feel right at home. Even in a perfectly neutral setting, the red accents are there in miniature...the suitcase, the stripe on a collar and in the headband. The ballroom, stepping over the line into upper-crust garishness, like a pair of salmon-pink pants on a golfer. This is a beautiful shot. There is nothing more beautiful than the color of really fine, aged brickwork. Saving the color scheme from becoming overwrought requires a complimentary color. A muted green is used to cool down Margot's later scenes. Here, only the barrette in her hair is red. Pink shirt and red tie? Where's the Sartorialist? It takes a confidant man to carry off this combination. The palest, palest pink for Etheline's suit in this sequence. Images via www.leavemethewhite.com
I didn't think of it ahead of time, but I am so purely delighted to use this film in this month's theme. Maybe I'll do a month for the Darjeeling Limited colors. I am a "warm" person when I am not a "white" person, so blue and yellow will be a bit more of a challenge for someone of my temperament. It's always good to stretch one's comfort zone, don't you think?