The colorization of Greek classic films as intersemiotic translation


  • Dimitris Neofotistos



colorization, intersemiotic translation, color, Greek cinema, culture studies.


Intersemiotic translation constitutes a field of research and application including those of different modes of expression and substance transmis-sion from one text to another. According to Torop (2000) different types of texts such as films, and comics function as signification systems submitted into  different  translation  processes  either  intra-  or  extratextual  (intralin-guistic or intersemiotic as referred by Jakobson [1959]) to serve a different kind of media communication. It is well known that the textual nature of film is ascertained by specific elements such as sound, episodes, montage including color which as a medium (“color means” as stated by Kress & van Leuween  [2002])  plays  a  very  important  role  in  the  transfer  of  meaning  ventured by film makers. In this paper I will attempt to designate the role of color as a mode of new  signification  through  the  application  of  colorization  in  two  classic  Greek black and white films. I will examine the films “And let the wife fear her  husband”  («Η  δε  γυνή  να  φοβήται  τον  άνδρα»)  and  “A  mess”  («Της  κακομοίρας»)  both  classified  in  the  classic  Greek  cinema  period  (1940–1970)  and  very  popular  with  the  Greek  public.  Film  colorization  was  a  widespread technique in the ‘80s in the United States and lately in Greece, not always well received due to film forgery reasons, as maintained by fans. In this paper I will try to explain how film colorization works as intersemi-otic translation and what is the new meaning acquired for the public by this procedure in the two films examined in the corpus.


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How to Cite

Neofotistos, D. (2022). The colorization of Greek classic films as intersemiotic translation. Digital Age in Semiotics & Communication, 5, 221–240.