All Stories

21 Shades of Blue in Cobalt Blue

By: Yap Cai Ni

How does harmonious color identity contribute to a film?

  1. This is the colour of a pen in the holder. There’s another one just like it on the table, next to a folded card. It’s windy out, and the clothes dangling outside keep knocking against the window. It’s strangely soothing.
  2. Here is the colour of the card on the table. You can’t quite make out the features just yet, but it’s a lovely card. 
  3. Suddenly, we’re transported outside of the home, watching a train run past as the radio continues to run. There’s little people on the train, though it’s not quite surprising seeing as it’s noontime and the weather is good.
  4. Flash to title screen. Everything is black except for the words “Cobalt Blue”. Only “Blue” is in fact, blue.
  5. There’s a boy wearing a bright blue shirt. He’s walking towards the camera, right behind his mother.
  6. She’s wearing a duller, periwinkle blue shirt. It’s a lot more mature-looking, but boring. Her hair is tied in a loose ponytail, but her expression is far from free — she looks troubled, expression weighed down by the burden on her shoulders.
  7. There’s a lady looking around with a teal and yellow sundress. She’s not really privy to all the secret happenings within the family, but it’s cute how they all match.
  8. Here is the colour of the window grills of their temporary home. It’s faded in some parts, and rusty in others, but otherwise it’s pretty sturdy.
  9. This is the colour of the second shirt the mother changes into. Note how it is almost the exact same shade of periwinkle, only lighter. She might have a third set. Who knows, really, how much she treasures her blues?
  10. There’s a patterned tote bag hooked on to the wall. The card from before is shoved haphazardly into this.
  11. Dinnertime. This blue tea towel is crumpled and tossed aside on the table.
  12. Boy sits himself in a corner with a handheld toy console-of-sorts. It’s a water-based shooter game where you shoot jets of air to push rings onto plastic cones. He entertains himself with this for a while as his mother bustles around, fixing everything as she always has.
  13. This is the colour of the Tupperware lid atop a decorative pot, located on a shelf.
  14. There’s an entire scene bathed in blue. It’s quite magical, frankly. Aung Ko’s shirt is stained this colour, under the bare night sky.
  15. Here is the colour of the night sky.
  16. The boy’s mother hands over a lightly worn book. “I bought it for you this evening,” she murmurs, “I thought it might be helpful.”
  17. There’s a container on the wall with two toothbrushes in them. It’s a temporary arrangement that will be gone come morning.
  18. The boy leans against a duvet dyed a dark indigo. There’s some shifting offscreen — he uses this to nap on later. There’s a lot of tossing and turning, before he sets his mind on waking up. He looks out of the window. It’s a beautiful day and the skies are clear.
  19. This is the colour of the makeshift pillow the mother lies on.
  20. This is the colour of the truck that leaves. They’ve long since packed up all their things, but it’s not easy to move on. It’s slightly easier, though, when everything is neatly compartmentalised into boxes and set away. Like parts of a life that can no longer be accessed except by the deepest recesses of memory.
  21. Aung Ko’s shirt is a deep, dark oxford blue. He takes a few steps towards the truck, before pausing. There’s an invisible barrier that keeps him from going further. Someday he might regret this, or maybe he won’t.
  22. Rinse and repeat. It’ll be another good day tomorrow, with fair weather and blue skies as far as the eye can see. Perhaps it’ll rain instead, a shower of quiet rebellion.

Either way, tomorrow will come.

– Yap Cai Ni


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