How Colour Immerses Us in ‘The Queen’s Gambit’
When you think of a “cinematic” image, what comes to mind? Is it a widescreen image? Is it one with a shallow depth of field or a certain look? No matter where you stand, the term may communicate more of an emotional connection to a story, one that captivates us in a way that’s hard to pin to a single aesthetic.
In The Queen’s Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy plays Beth, an orphan with a cunning knack for chess, who’s fixed on beating the best in the world. It’s a story that grabs our attention through conflict without words while making the mundane feel cinematic. It’s a visual buffet where meticulously planned imagery lands on the cutting room floor to draw us into the narrative.
The series style was curated by production designer Uli Hanisch along with set decorator Sabine Schaaf to capture the culture of the 1960s.
The palette is striking with floor-to-ceiling looks that layer visual subtext to the allegory. Hanisch told Domino, “A strong pattern, no matter if it’s plaid or stripes, gives the room a very strong corset, almost like cell bars or a cage,” when describing his approach to Beth’s bedroom. He goes on to say that it’s important to add personal touches that tell your story and to think about what colors speak to you.
Image credit: Phil Bray / Netflix