A Film List in hues of Blue
Updated: Sep 14
“The sky slowly pulled up its blue dress to reveal night.”
– Jonathan Safran Foer
Blue is the warmest colour and my favourite of them all. Blue is the tide of the ocean as it ripples backward and forward like a lullaby. It is the colour of the night sky as it sparkles and watches over us during the darkest hours. It surrounds us, calms us even. It is also a colour that is re-imagined and re-visited every now and then. In the 1960s, French artist Yves Klein came up with his very own blue, known as IKB (International Klein Blue). And just last year, Pantone announced that its 2020 Colour of the Year is Classic Blue. But my love for this colour is best summed up in the words of French Fauvist painter Raoul Duffy:
Blue is the only colour which maintains its own character, in all its tones it will always stay blue; whereas yellow is blackened in its shades, and fades away when lightened; red when darkened becomes brown, and diluted with white is no longer red, but another colour – pink.
Ultimately, the different variations of blue have captured the likes of many as a tool to express their inner soul. We speak of the blues when it comes to music, feeling blue as an expression when we are down. We even refer to Pablo Picasso's monochromatic paintings as the Blue Period, a time where he sank into a deep depression. In a similar way, the various connotations of the colour blue can also manifest itself in the way that we 'dress'. On that note, here is a selection of blue dresses that have not gone unnoticed on screen (including a bonus that any 90s kid will remember).
1. Love Me or Leave Me (Director: Charles Vidor, 1955)
A jazz singer marries a gangster who helps shape her career and propel her to stardum, although she is infatuated with the likes of a pianist.
2. To Catch a Thief (Director: Alfred Hitchcock, 1955)
A retired burglar seeks to save his reformed reputation and prove that he has not returned to his olds ways by catching an impostor, who preys on rich tourists.
3. Gypsy (Director: Mervyn LeRoy, 1962)
A stage mother determined to see her daughter succeed as a burlesque dancer will stop at nothing to reach her goal, even at the expense of her daughter's happiness.
4. Scarface (Director: Brian De Palma, 1983)
A refugee who arrives in Miami with nothing takes over a cartel and becomes a powerful drug lord, but slowly succumbs to greed as he gains notoriety.
5. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
A student on his way to visit his ill father finds a severed ear in a field, which leads him to meet a singer who is the victim of a criminal conspiracy.
6. Kal Ho Naa Ho (Director: Nikkhil Advani, 2003)
A student falls in love with her new neighbour who tries to set her up with her best friend, as he fears their love story is doomed due to his terminal illness.
7. House of Flying Daggers (Director: Zhang Yimou, 2004)
A police captain helps a member of a rebel group break out of prison so that she may rejoin her people, but things are not what they seem to be.
8. Belle (Amma Asante, 2013)
The mixed-race illegitimate daughter of a royal navy captain is taken away from the slums to be raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in his mansion, where racial tension follows.
9. La La Land (Director: Damien Chazell, 2016)
An aspiring actress and a jazz pianist fall in love in the city of angels, but face many ordeals as they try to navigate their careers in pursuit of their dreams.
10. Lady Macbeth (Director: William Oldroyd, 2016)
A bride trapped in a loveless marriage to a man twice her age develops an affair with a worker on their estate, a secret she must keep at all costs.
11. Wonder Woman (Director: Patricia Lea Jenkins, 2017)
An Amazonian warrior leaves her home and island with an American pilot to prevent the outburst of World War I, discovering along the way her full powers and true destiny.
12. Anastasia (Don Bluth & Gary Goldman, 1997)
An orphan meets two con men who convince her that she is the Grand Duchess of Russia and offer to reunite her with her grand-mother, while an evil monk seeks her death.