ColorTherapy in Film: Le Samouraï

ColorTherapy in Film: Le Samouraï

Mark Chamberlain
May 5, 2009

It's been years since I first saw this film in re-release, and I'm a sucker for all things Alain Delon, so when I caught a few moments of Le Samouraï at a local wine bar, I said to myself, "Hmm, color column…" This is a policier from 1967, an oh-so-French existential crime drama in which Delon plays an assassin hired to kill a club owner. We have thugs, killers, double dealers, gun molls, girl singers, and all the requisite sets to make it look sexy. Whereas the set design of the whole film is interesting, the room that attracts me most is Jef's lair...

It's spare, bare, bleak and beautiful, just like Alain Delon. It seems typically theatrical of French Films of the period (see my Umbrellas of Cherbourg post), but look at the details — panel molding, those great fabrics and that weird European kitchen. The finish on the walls looks like dry-brushing in gray glazes, and matches the fabric on the bed and windows. I'd love to have a room like that; though it was done 40 years ago it looks so au courant it could have happened tomorrow.

Possible color matches from Benjamin Moore Affinity deck:
• Metropolitan AF-690
• Storm AF-700
• Cinder AF-705
• Secret AF-710

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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