Focusing on the final decade of silent film, Street and Yumibe portray the 1920s as a pivotal and profoundly chromatic period of cosmopolitan exchange, collaboration, and experimentation in and around cinema. Chromatic Modernity explores contemporary debates over color’s artistic, scientific, philosophical, and educational significance. It examines a wide range of European and American films, including Opus 1 (1921), L’Inhumaine (1923), Die Nibelungen (1924), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Lodger (1927), Napoléon (1927), and Dracula (1932). A comprehensive, comparative study that situates film among developments in art, color science, and industry, Chromatic Modernity reveals the role of color cinema in forging new ways of looking at and experiencing the modern world.
Sarah Street is professor of film at the University of Bristol. She is the author of Colour Films in Britain: The Negotiation of Innovation, 1900–55 (2012) and Deborah Kerr (2018), among other works.
Joshua Yumibe is associate professor and director of the Film Studies Program at Michigan State University. He is the author of Moving Color: Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism (2012) and coauthor of Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema (2015).