What Does it Mean When a Character Wears Black?
Seeing a character that wears all black in a movie, usually gives us a feeling of something epic, something powerful or even someone we should be fearful of.
The feelings we get could give us a sense of gloom or hopelessness or we could even be given the idea that we're a part of something bigger, something monumental or life changing.
Hi and welcome to Chroma...Film...Tv.... In this video, we'll be exploring what it means when we see a character entirely adorned in black gear - and without further ado, let's get into it.
In general, and in western cultures, when we see a character fully adorned in black, it's usually related to sense of Authority or Power, the character has an heir of mystery or it could stand for a sense of doom or dread tied to evil or death.
There are a bunch of characters that wear all black in movies, too many for one video - and many of the characters that have all black attire as their main wardrobe represent fluid or overlapping interpretations of the color. So, for this reason, some of the characters listed in this video may have more than one interpretation - but will only be listed under one attribute. ...and here we go...
Seeing a character in all black shows a level of power. Whether they're the main villain of the film or even if it's simply someone wearing all black for work or for an assignment - The Power portrayed by these characters is usually expressed in the power they have over others or their actions, but it could also represent the physical power that a person has to overtake someone else. Examples of this is shown in characters like Black Panther or Batman. Both characters represent power in terms of strength and social standing. The lives they depict in their stories are more complex than just the power they hold, but the attribute is a major component of the character they represent
A black suit or dress can represent the Authority a character has in the grand scheme of the film. The person may not necessarily be the most powerful in terms of physical strength - but they could have the authority to demand that someone take care of the physical stuff for them. An example of a character that represents authority can be seen in Joanna Eberhart played by Nicole Kidman in the 2004 film Stepford wives. As the top executive of a network, she had the authority to approve shows that were distasteful to say the least. She's someone that abused the power via her authority - but before long..she was stripped of her authority, which could also be interpreted as a form of death. Removal of her old self, to make way for the new.
Seeing a group of characters in all black uniforms or costumes has a rebel feel to it, but it also conveys a sense of belonging, an alliance or allegiance. In the Matrix, the first one. Neo doesn't start off wearing black, but as he learns more about himself and his capabilities, he becomes one of the team and starts to mirror their goals and ideologies shown by his costume. - on the one hand he's starting to gain the same power that they have, but on the other hand, it shows that he was a part of a bigger mission and in agreeance with his machine and human born brethren.
We can thank movies like the Wizard of Oz, Disney's sleeping beauty or even Maleficent for some of our first interactions with the evil characters in all black. They're usually kinda mysterious, or off-putting to some degree, but they have an overwhelming sense of dread tied to them. They usually have some sort of dreadful music playing as their background theme and even when they smile, it's unsettling, making us feel really uneasy. Like several of the other attributes of black, an evil character usually has some other properties like mystery or power, but the overall feeling they convey is a sense of fear - causing the viewer to be anxious or apprehensive about their interactions with other characters.
We've seen these literal interpretations in characters like the ones from the Scream movies or the dude from family guy - The purpose of these characters is less mystery and more jump scare, in a sense. These characters are a literal interpretation of death, there to serve as omens or as a notification that someone's time is up. Of course, a character doesn't have to be dressed as mr reaper to represent the end of life, but this is an easy way to convey the message without much need for explanation or interpretation.
Every character in all black, regardless of the overall intent have an heir of mystery - a part of them that seems to be closed off, only available to the ones that are fortunate or unfortunate enough to get close to them.
The color black doesn't always necessarily have one particular meaning in films, but depending on the type of film or the plot, the use of the color can play a major part in how we feel about the character and how we perceive their intentions.
Film, like other forms of art is imprinted with the signature or the essence of the artist and can greatly reflect the feelings or the ideologies of the artist. Learning how to recognize when we've been given signals or messages for how we should think or feel, allows us to watch media objectively. Giving us a better glimpse of the full intent and a deeper level of understanding
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And on that note, have an awesome day. Be good to yourself, be good to others, Peace.
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