Colour and the moving image

Kinemacolor banner

In this our year of colour, here’s a call for papers on a pertinent conference, which comes out of an ongoing three-year research project at the University of Bristol which is examining the histories of Kinemacolor and Technicolor in Britain.

Colour and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive

Conference: 10th July – 12th July 2009, Bristol, UK

Keynote speakers: Tom Gunning (University of Chicago), Laura Mulvey (Birkbeck)

‘An inquiry into colour can take you just about anywhere’ (David Batchelor, Chromophobia, 2000)

Call for Papers: This conference addresses questions emerging through a renewed interest in colour film and as an interdisciplinary subject. The event is part of an AHRC-funded project on colour film, led by Professor Sarah Street. While colour is a fundamental element of film forms, technologies and aesthetics it is rarely singled-out for analysis. The aim of the conference is to extend previous work on colour and to consider its form and functions from a range of perspectives within four major strands: histories and technologies; film theory; philosophies and aesthetics of colour; the ethics, practices and theories surrounding the deterioration and conservation of colour film. In addition to formal conference papers, the event will include screenings of prints from the BFI National Film Archive. We invite proposals which address broad issues raised by colour and the moving image. The conference will provide a forum for discussion which is informed by, and directly addresses, the interrelations of the theory, history and aesthetics of colour film and of moving image technologies in their broadest sense. Proposals which focus on questions of colour in one or more of the following areas are particularly welcome:

– star systems
– reception theory
– pre-filmic, pro-filmic and onscreen spaces
– fantasy, spectacle, realism and/ or ‘natural’ colour
– colour theory
– synaesthesia: theories and practices of the interrelations of colour, sound, music as sensation
– chromophilia/chromophobia
– distanciation and avant garde film
– colour and genre
– film histories and new technologies: video, DVD, small screen technologies as new viewing spaces
– Colour systems including Kinemacolor, Dufaycolor, Chemicolor, Agfacolor, Technicolor, Eastmancolor

We invite abstracts of c.200 words for individual papers or pre-constituted panels consisting of 3 papers to be submitted by 1st September 2008. Please send abstracts to If you prefer to submit your abstract by post, the address is as follows: Colour and the Moving Image Conference, c/o Dr Liz Watkins, Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television, Cantocks Close, Woodland Road, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1UP, UK.

Colour and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive is hosted by the Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television, University of Bristol, UK with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Screenings in co-operation with the BFI National Film Archive, UK and supported by Screen as one of its 50th Anniversary regional events.