Colour was used in film well before The Wizard of Oz. Thomas Edison, for example, projected two-coloured films at his first public screening in New York City on April 23, 1896. These first colours of early cinema were not photographic; they were applied manually through a variety of laborious processes-most commonly by the hand-colouring and stencilling of prints frame by frame, and the tinting and toning of films in vats of chemical dyes. The results were remarkably beautiful.
Moving Color is the first book-length study of the beginnings of colour cinema. Looking backward, Joshua Yumibe traces the legacy of colour history from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the cinema of the early twentieth century. Looking forward, he explores the implications of this genealogy on experimental and contemporary digital cinemas in which many colours have become, once again, vividly unhinged from photographic reality. Throughout this history, Moving Color revolves around questions pertaining to the sensuousness of colour: how colour moves us in the cinema-visually, emotionally, and physically.
JOSHUA YUMIBE is a lecturer of film studies at the University of St. Andrews. He has published essays on color theory and design in silent cinema in the journals Film History and New Review of Film and Television Studies.