Distilling the atmosphere of movies

My favourite new Tumblr blog is Movie Bar Code, which combines my affections for information visualization and movies. The creator builds images by compressing movie frames into one-pixel-wide images, and then squishing them all together. The result is this striking, abstract expression of a film’s tone and atmosphere. This comment from MetaFilter sums the artwork up nicely:

I like how it makes the overarching color theme of a film so clear — the terminal green of The Matrix, the electric blue of Tron, the unexpectedly rich palette of Kung Fu Panda. The King’s Speech is surprisingly dark, and Moon looks like, well, the surface of the moon. And is that a day/night cycle in Jaws, or a sky/cabin/water one?

I also like the drastic changes in the palette of Hero.

I wanted to include some images in this post, but I also wanted to respect the creator’s copyright, so please click through and take a look.

Happily, I also found instructions on how to build your own movie bar code. I’m totally going to generate one, print it out and hang it on my wall.


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