Pauline at the Beach

Pauline à la plage

Eric Rohmer, France, 1983


The films of Eric Rohmer display a specific and thoughtful approach to the use of colour, one which is explored in a discrete manner. His choices in relation to colour are small, and practical, so as not to greatly affect the production costs of his films. He explores colour through his choice of costumes, posters on walls, household objects and decorations.

For some of his films he chose to work with a specific pallet of colours, featured in the scenery and setting inspired by paintings which, in a way, become the colour chart or pallet of the film. Here, in Pauline’s room, he has chosen to feature a copy of Matisse’s La Blouse Romaine. On the other wall he places a red buoy, as a painter would with a red circle around it. In the reverse shot he places a red, white and blue coloured ball and a brightly coloured clown doll.

The man’s black kimono throws the other colours in contrast and highlights them for our attention. In the breakfast scene in the kitchen the wall and curtain provide a white background, like the bottom of the linen dress in Matisse’s painting, which also highlights the colours associated with the girl, the blue of her glass and the blue of her t-shirt and that of the man, the red of both his type writer and t-shirt.



modern painting.