Paris, Texas
Kalki Janardhanan: The 5 Most Visually Striking Films
Kalfi Janardhanan
Kalki Janardhanan
Color Palette Cinema

Color has a strong psychological effect not only on humans, but on animals. Different colors have different meanings. Some animals see a very specific color and are attracted to it, for example, and the same goes for humans. We are not aware of it all the time. It’s an instinct almost.

Kalki Janardhanan created the popular Instagram accounts Cinema Magic and Color Palette Cinema. Below, he shares five of his favorite movie color palettes. Read more about his story—and see some of his striking visuals—here.

Icon_Audio-Video_-PlayCreated with Sketch.
Where to watch

I remember being amazed by the unique visuals, dominated by the contrast between green and red tones, when I saw it for the first time as a kid. The color scheme used in this film helps you feel like you’re in a fairy tale.

The Neon Demon
Icon_Audio-Video_-PlayCreated with Sketch.
Where to watch

Nicolas Winding Refn is one of my favorite filmmakers. I love his highly stylized aesthetic. The colors blue and red are very important in this film as they represent the main themes embodied by the characters.

Paris, Texas
Icon_Audio-Video_-PlayCreated with Sketch.
Where to watch

In my opinion, this is one of the best films ever made. One of the most important themes of the film is separation, which is represented through the composition of the frame and the color palette, in particular the color green, achieved through lighting and/or production design and costume design. An example is the bittersweet ending, with the main character (Harry Dean Stanton) in the foreground bathed in a green light, with an orange sunset in the background.

Blade Runner 2049
Icon_Audio-Video_-PlayCreated with Sketch.
Where to watch

Roger Deakins is one of the greatest cinematographers of all time and among the films that he shot, this is probably the one that impressed me the most. Other than being extremely beautiful to look at, every frame, even if apparently minimal, is rich with meaning. The color yellow, for example, is used whenever the character discovers something or finds an important clue in his quest. 

Icon_Audio-Video_-PlayCreated with Sketch.
Where to watch

This is an amazing revenge film with a unique visual style. I felt transported into a crazy surreal world when I watched it. The “psychedelic” color palette definitely helped!

Related Lists
© 2022 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences