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  • Writer's pictureColored Glasses On

The Significance of Rose-Colored Glasses On In Movies

Updated: May 12, 2022

Shades have been used to pose indifference towards others and achieve one’s voyeuristic desires without being intruders. They represent modernity and the culture of city life where the heart of fashion is not to just ‘stand out’ but deflect unwanted attention and to rise above others due to that indifference. This need to both attract and deflect paved the way for the modern aesthetic of fashion – Glamor. As Stephen Gundle describes Glamor

Glamour is a weapon and a protective coating.

When it comes to Glamor we can’t ignore the significance of it in Cinema and vice-versa. Do you remember Andy Warhol – known as the guy with the glasses? Bockris said that he was even buried in sunglasses. He was even nicknamed Drella after Cinderella and Dracula as both got out at night only. The Dandy look of Andy Warhol his calm presence, the indifference behind which was hidden artistic brilliance defined the anti-gaze he was so famous for. Even in his works representing Marlin Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor so many tones and shades were converted into a few colors. His works represent that individualism is an outcome of social construction. In his movies, the camera was a spectacle of stillness.

A Shot from Sleep (1964), © Andy Warhol, was categorized as Anti-Film in the history of cinema.

Besides Andy Warhol was Jean-Luc- Godard who in his movie Breathless used the Anti-Gaze sentiment by the use of sunglasses. Beyond its post-modernist structure lies a deep sense of psychology and symbolism. Sunglasses also appear in the voiceover state as ‘Lies’. Recall ‘The Devil in the Flesh’ where two lovers lay kissing wearing their sunglasses negating the gestures which are required at this moment either open eyes or closed in sentiment. Kissing in sunglasses depicts insincerity and vanity.

A shot from Breathless (1960), © Les Films Impéria

In the Films of Quentin Tarantino, sunglasses become the symbol of the problematic emptiness. In his films, the spectator’s voyeurism is detached and magnified as death and violence are spectacular but incidental. As he draws from the cool of the blaxploitation and popular trends in cinema which is contrasted with his unconventional appearance and background. Sunglasses as of MR.Brown in Reservoir Dogs gives him an outward appearance of glamor, cool and success on the outright make people ask questions about the sudden spurt of violence in his films. Cinema and the changing landscape within this hyper-real world have had many moments of such changes in perception.

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