Light Darkness and Colours
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Added: Sep 21st 2012
Rating: 5.0 out of 3 votes
Using Goethe's Theory of Colours (Zur Farbenlehre) as point of departure, Light Darkness and Colours takes us on a fascinating journey through the universe of colours. In 1704, Sir Isaac Newton published *Light and Refraction*, his study of the interactions between sunlight and prisms. Newton was, as a good scientist, intent on achieving objectivity, which meant studying sunlight in isolation. He thought colours were contained solely in light, and found the spectrum he was looking for. When he reproduced this experiment, Goethe found another, hidden set of colours missed by Newton. Goethe found the hidden colours in the boundaries between light and darkness. He felt, as an artist, that one could not talk about light without including darkness. Calling it 'the light-darkness polarity', Goethe made this new scientific discovery using artistic methods in conjunction with science. As far as scientists were concerned, Goethe was a layman, which meant that his research went largely ignored. Not until many years later was it recognized how revolutionary his scientific discoveries really were. Goethe spent more than 40 years of his life on *Zur Farbenlehre*, which in its own way summarizes the whole of his thinking and connects his poetry with science. Goethe himself viewed his work as so stunningly radical that he prophesied that it would only be understood generations after his death. In keeping with Goethe's method, the three directors work from a personal curiosity as they explore the natural laws and phenomena surrounding human sensory perception. Using strikingly beautiful time-lapse cinematography, and duplicating Goethe's and Newton's experiments on camera, they have crafted a visually stunning and intellectually rewarding film.