Recently there has been renewed scholarly interest in the technology of cinema, shaped in part by the ongoing digital transformations of the apparatus. Film theorists have long acknowledged a crucial role for technology in shaping new forms of experience, and conversely, recent examinations of the cinematic apparatus have also emphasised the ways in which a given technology itself is a form of mediation influenced by aesthetic choices, other intermedial forms of technology, and broader social and cultural processes.
Informed by such insights, this issue of Cinéma&Cie will focus on the technology of cinematic colour, specifically its analogue changes at mid-century, ca. the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, though studies are welcome that extend this timeframe, particularly for thinking through parallel developments in the Global South. This is the era in which photographic systems such as three-strip Technicolor, Kodachrome, Agfacolor, Eastmancolor, and Fujicolor dramatically transformed cinematic practice – from musicals and melodramas, to animation, experimental, and amateur cinemas – and led to the eventual normalisation of colour over black-and-white cinema around the world. Our emphasis is on how colour functions during the era as a transformative technological and cultural form inherent to image production and reception.