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"The thing is, if you just do stuff, and nothing happens, what's it all mean?"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Breaking Bad's Color Scheming: (Un)mellow Yellow

The three primary colors

For much of the series, the presence of isolated yet prominent swathes of yellow usually signals impending doom. This type of cinematographic coding is reminiscent of the use of oranges within The Godfather Trilogy  (the series makes numerous explicit and implicit references to Coppola's films...maybe I'll investigate in a future post, but the thematic interconnections should be pretty clear if you've seen the movies).

A direct homage to the "orange" foreshadowing is made in 4x11, "Crawl Space." When Skylar attempts to convince Ted Beneke to use the money she gave him to pay off his IRS debts, a bowl of oranges is in the background behind Ted, seemingly innocuous. Later on however, when we pity the fool as he is held captive by Saul's "A-Team", the oranges become more prominent.

...Apparently they made him an offer that he couldn't refuse...

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