Browned Off

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I used to think that Sidney Lumet’s THE OFFENCE was the brownest film of the seventies, where they took to pre-flashing the film to desaturate it and make it even more joyless and seventies-esque. But now I have a new winner, John Boorman’s LEO THE LAST, which has clearly tampered with its colour a bit in post-production, but also achieves a lot of its sombre palette by simply painting everything in sight shades of brown, grey, black and beige. Actually, a dark slate grey dominates. Surprisingly, perhaps, it’s extremely beautiful, but then I live in Edinburgh, a city which makes grey into a fetish.

Quite a problematic film, but a fascinating one — I write about it here.

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3 Responses to “Browned Off”

  1. “I used to think that Sidney Lumet’s THE OFFENCE was the brownest film of the seventies, where they took to pre-flashing the film to desaturate it and make it even more joyless and seventies-esque”

    Harrison Birtwhistle’s score- did he provide music for any other films?- is the…icing, shall we say?…on the cake.

  2. Seems to be his only film score, adding another level of bleakness. Still, I like how that film makes quite ordinary British townscapes seem epically cinematic without straining for effect.

  3. This won Best Director at Cannes the same year MASH took the Palme D’Or. Mastroianni took the prize for Best Actor……. for a different film entirely.

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