Color Theory: Red

In the first instalment of the NOWNESS commissioned trilogy by New York directors Simon Davis and Jason Sondock aka rubberband.—a young woman tentatively descends into the laundry room of an empty home. Red’s cinematography is evocative of Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s 1994 Academy-nominated picture Three Colours: Red in that both films rely on everyday items painted in the titular colour to drive the narrative. “While our films don’t have clear cut themes as monolithic as Kieslowski’s they are our attempt to translate color into emotion,” the directors say.

Color, as Swiss linguist Ferdinand Saussure opines, is just a “system of signifiers,” with red generally associated with danger, passion, marriage, or luck. rubberband. plays with this ambiguity in the film as a crimson filter makes it unclear if the central character’s journey to the basement is motivated by fear, hope or lust. Red’s sequence eventually reaches a climax as the young woman lies prostrate on the floor, submerged by clothes that devour her whole—the camera now soaked in a sea of erotic scarlet.

“Color is inescapably personal yet we all recognize the power and effect that it has in our lives,” the cinematic pop directors explain. “The process became about translating that into stories.” rubberband.’s use of colour explores themes of lust, life and love in this trilogy that does what language cannot—it takes colour and gives it feeling, shape and vision. “We wrote the films with the conceit that we wanted to push them each into slightly magical realist territory,” the directors explain.

Davis and Sondock met at Tisch School of the Arts while studying film. A few years after graduating their distinctive creative work garnered the attention of Calvin Klein, Under Armour, LCD Soundsystem and Topaz Jones, and won them awards at international film festivals. Drawing from their experience of directing music videos, commercials and promotional videos, rubberband. has successfully condensed the emotion and narrative of a feature film into this NOWNESS commissioned short.


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