Modern B&W movies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JJR512, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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    The other day I saw at Best Buy a DVD 2-pack with Requiem for a Dream and the director's earlier movie, Pi, for $19.99. Having wanted RfaD for a while but not having gotten around to actually getting it, I picked that up for the deal that it was. I didn't know anything about Pi but I figured hmm, two for $20 or one for $15...

    Anyway, I watched Pi the other night. Now the interesting thing about this was that it wasn't until about half-way through the movie that it occurred to me it was in black & white! I guess the story pulled me in so much that a detail like color, or the lack thereof, was by comparison not important.

    I'm wondering if any of you have had a similar experience. Not necessarily with the same movie, but with any other modern movies that were done in B&W. By "modern", I mean movies since the time when color became the norm, and I'm specifically asking about these because with older movies, B&W is expected, because there was no choice. But with a modern movie, with color available, the director had to make a specific and deliberate choice to use B&W. That's an artistic choice, and whatever the exact reasoning or emotion behind it, it seems to have worked out well for Darren Aronofsky (director). I think it was a successful decision on his part because if it didn't work, it would stick out like a sore thumb, but like I said, I didn't even consciously notice it.
     
  2. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    The Black and White cinematography in The Man Who Wasn't There could not have been more beautiful, and it was a perfect compliment to this movie (which was basically a tribute to the Classic Film Noir)!
    Raging Bull is also quite noteworthy! [​IMG]
    EDIT: I should add that, although released in black in white, TMWWT was originally shot on color film (due to contractual obligations, I believe).
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well, certainly by 1970 color was the norm. My favorite b&w films after that date include:

    Young Frankenstein
    Zelig
    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
    Schindler's List
     
  4. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Good calls, GK. I wouldn't have remembered DMDWP.
    Paper Moon?
     
  5. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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    Don't forget Manhattan, a beautiful-looking B&W film.
     
  6. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    D'oh! Another good call!
    How 'bout...
    Ed Wood
    Clerks
    The Elephant Man
    ...Nadja? [​IMG]
     
  7. Alphonse Brown

    Alphonse Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    I had the opposite reaction. Under the Cherry Moon was so bad that all I noticed was it being in black & white.
     
  8. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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  9. BarryS

    BarryS Second Unit

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    Bob Fosse's Lenny. It's pretty old (1974), but even then most movies were made in color.
     
  10. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    doesn't really count, but what about half of Memento? i.e. the in-between bits where Leonard is on the phone in his motel room, as contrasted to the colour scenes which run "backwards".
     
  11. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    Following

    although that was shot on B&W due to budget restrictions more than an artistic decision. But so was Clerks.

    Which reminds me of another budget movie just released to DVD: Man bites dog
     
  12. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Stunt Coordinator

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    Ah, glorious Black & White: Here are a few more -
    The Last Picture Show
    Rumblefish
    Kafka
    Judy Berlin
     
  13. George See

    George See Second Unit

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    Man of the Century

    Was a fun little film.
     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    edit second time today I was too fast with the cut 'n paste.

    Last Picture Show is perfectly realized in B&W. I can’t imagine small-town Texas looking any different.

    Love the other suggestions
     
  15. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    A number of other films come to my mind and which I am sure most of you will know of:
    A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (1958)
    LONLEY ARE THE BRAVE (1962)
    THE TRAIN (1964)
    DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
    A THOUSAND CLOWNS (1965)
    A HARD DAYS NIGHT (1964)
    THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN (1960)
    THE DEFIANT ONES (1958)
    SINK THE BISMARCK (1958?)
    THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (1960?)
    I am sure there are some others that I cannot remember right at this moment but at least it is a start. One thing the ones I listed have in common - they are all very well written and acted,(well,except for The Beatles'attempt- it is just simple fun) and outside of The Train, A Night To Remember, Dr. Srangelove,A Hard Days Night and The Defiant Ones,the others are not on dvd, although they really should be at least I have some of them on laserdisc.[​IMG]
     
  16. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Zentropa by Lars Von Trier is mostly B&W though IIRC he slips color in at moments to enhance moods. It's been about a year since I saw it though. Great, great film.
    Many of my other favs have already been mentioned. The idea that color is the only way to make a film that people will enjoy is ridiculous. I think that's a myth that the studios cling to.
    B&W often offers much more drama and has been argued (including in the cinematography thread) to be MORE reality enhancing than color.
     
  17. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    Ah, Zentropa...that one rearranged some of my little grey cells a few years ago.

    Another modern B&W film no one's mentioned yet is Tod Kalin's Swoon, about the Loeb and Leopold murder. (Same source material was also put to B&W use by Hitcjcock in Rope.)

    Todd Haynes also used B&W for major sections of Poison.
     
  18. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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  19. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  20. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    another vote for 'the man who wasn't there'. how bout 'pleasantville'?

    also, i may be having a brain-fade, but wasn't 'schindler's list' also b&w? can't remember now...
     

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