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Wes Anderson's Colour Palettes

In Pictures is a still and moving image gallery for significant works, events and places

The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001
The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001 Colour Palette by Movies in Colour

On the birthday of the director, we celebrate the world-building colour palettes of Wes Anderson’s imagination

The fictional worlds evoked in film by director Wes Anderson have such a precise colouration – the very particular pastel-hues that paint the skies, drench the buildings and dress the characters, render Anderson’s microcosms almost dream-like. The hazy-hued lens through which we peer into the director’s unique world has a retro quality that casts his films in a nostalgia for a time that could have been. The muted pink of The Grand Budapest Hotel that makes the hotel itself the biggest character in the movie; the very particular French mustard that comes to define Gwyneth Paltrow’s Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums; the vintage boy-scout green in Moonrise Kingdom – all of these hues are captured in the Wes Anderson Colour Palettes Tumblr, which breaks down the shades that colour Wes’s world scene by scene with precise accuracy, and also the Movies in Color site, which considers individual frames of many films, including Anderson's, distililng them down to their myriad different shades.

"The hazy-hued lens through which we peer into the director’s unique world has a retro quality that cast his films in a nostalgia for a time that could have been"

Artist and Wes Anderson enthusiast Hamish Robertson says, “Anderson's colour palettes are integral to his cinematic ‘world-building’. His eye for art direction and fantastic attention to detail creates the appropriate space and tone for his characters to exist in – and for the viewer to lose themselves in. They ultimately become their own visual language, the way character themes are elaborated in cinematic scores, allowing an immersive visual experience whether the sound is on or not.”

Bottle Rocket, 1996
Bottle Rocket, 1996 Colour Palette by Movies in Colour
Rushmore, 1998
Rushmore, 1998 Colour Palette by Movies in Colour
The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001
The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001 Colour Palette by Wes Anderson Palettes
The Life Aquatic, 2004
The Life Aquatic, 2004 Colour Palette by Movies in Colour
Hotel Chevalier, 2007
Hotel Chevalier, 2007 Colour Palette by Wes Anderson Palettes
The Darjeeling Limited, 2007
The Darjeeling Limited, 2007 Colour Palette by Movies in Colour
Fantastic Mr Fox, 2009
Fantastic Mr Fox, 2009 Colour Palette by Wes Anderson Palettes
Fantastic Mr Fox, 2009
Fantastic Mr Fox, 2009 Colour Palette by Movies in Colour
Moonrise Kingdom, 2012
Moonrise Kingdom, 2012 Colour Palette by Wes Anderson Palettes
Moonrise Kingdom, 2012
Moonrise Kingdom, 2012 Colour Palette by Movies in Colour
The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014
The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014 Colour Palette by Wes Anderson Palettes

Text by Laura Havlin

Laura Havlin is a writer specialising in arts, fashion and culture. She has written features for Dazed Digital, AnOther Magazine, The New British, 125 magazine, i-D and Afterzine

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