RogerBW's Blog

Die Farbe (2010) 22 August 2023

2010 horror, Huan Vu, Ingo Heise, Marco Leibnitz: IMDb / allmovie. Why has Dad gone back to a part of Germany he visited during the war? vt The Color Out of Space.

Which is a very observational story: the characters learn about things, but nobody does anything about it, and really there's nothing they could do. So that makes it a good basis for an adaptor to lay down their own extra material to cover the gaps.

To some extent that happens; we get a good impression of the masculine culture in which you can't admit to your neighbouring farmer that you're on the edge of ruin because your crop is poisoned and you're all getting sick, even when they offer help. (The modern long hair, on orthodox young men in 1920s-1930s Germany, is frankly distracting, though.) There's a good integration of the earlier events, the interruption caused by the War, and then an American patrol scouting out farms for locations to place unhoused people.

The film is mostly in German, with some English at the beginning; Heise's accent is very noticeable, and I suspect I'd have found it less distracting if this part had been filmed in German too. But the big gimmick of course is that the film is shot in black and white, except for the Colour; and when that's a couple of tiny pink fireflies darting about in a scene, it works superbly well. I was oddly disappointed, though, with the "bigger" effects scenes, with the glowing form taking up a major part of the screen; somehow they just don't seem to have much to say.

The ending is strangely inconclusive: dad is found, on the site that's being flooded to make the new reservoir, and seems to be catatonic. And that's the end, apart from some last flashbacks implying that what we've just watched was misleading. That's a mis-step in my book, because I was quite enjoying what went before and I wanted to have an answer the the film's initial question: why dad had suddenly decided to come back here. Oh well. Visually gorgeous.

I talk about this film further on Ribbon of Memes.

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