Tears of the Black Tiger (Fah talai jone) – Inspiration

In every sense of the word, Tears of the Black Tiger (Fah talai jone) very well could be the most colorful film ever created.

With its loud acting style, exuberant sets and stunning shots in pastel colours, this Thai cult film is as much a parody as an homage to the Western and the romantic tearjerker.

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The production designs reflects traditional aspects of Thai culture… the first gun battle between Mahesuan and Dum is obviously filmed a sound stage with a painted backdrop, a setting that is similar to likay, a Thai form of folk opera.


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“I wanted the audience to feel like they’re reading a novel with moving illustrations,” writer and director Wisit Sasanatieng said. “It’s pure imagination and completely unrealistic. I wanted to try and go back to our roots. I wanted to make a link between the traditional and the contemporary in our own style.”

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Over-saturated colors were used to reflect scenes of rural Thailand, which the director saw as bright and colorful. Walls on the sets and locations were painted pink or green, and lighting was used to achieve the saturation.

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The film was treated in the color grading process by transferring it to digital Betacam tape and then back to 35 mm film. Oxide Pang, working as a telecine colorist, won a special effects award in Thailand for his work.

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Text adapted from Wikipedia

Author: evad
David Sommers has been loving color as COLOURlovers' Blog Editor-in-Chief for the past two years. When he's not neck deep in a rainbow he's loving other things with The Post Family (http://thepostfamily.com/), a Chicago-based art blog, artist collective & gallery.