Inspired by this thread, I have started wondering about movies made in black and white after color film became the standard. Here’s a couple off of the top of my head:
Sin City mostly counts, though it more belongs in the other thread (I’m gonna go post that if someone hasn’t beaten me to it…)
So, cinema dopers, list me some modern day B&W movies!
The most famous one has to be “Schindler’s List”
The Man Who Wasn’t There
going back a while Some Like It Hot was planned to be shot in colour, but Tony Curtiss’ and Jack Lemmon’s make up apparently looked a lot more realistic in B&W, si it was shot thay way.
The arthouse crowd gave us Pi and those wacky Japanese gave us Tetsuo. Meanwhile, Tim Burton had to make do with a man in an angora sweater
I don’t know if The Call of Cthulhu counts or not. It was shot on video, not film, and was never released to theaters. The DVD is available from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, which produced the film on a shoestring budget.
The gimmick with this flick is that it’s presented as a faux silent film made in the silent film era, a very clever way to cope with the sever budget limitations. The soundtrack offers two versions, one with modern stereo high fidelity, the other with the kind of mono, lo fidelity you’d expect from the early talkies period. They even added phony “damage” to some frames to make it look like it had been sitting around in some studio vault for decades.
Well worth watching if you’re either a Lovecraft fan or a silent film buff.
I love it, but I’m a major Lovecraft fan.
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
How far back you wanna go? PSYCHO, reportedly because the blood was too shocking in color (hmm, compare to today’s standards…)
The sad bit is that most film made in B&W nowadays doesn’t look great – tolday’s cinematographers aren’t trained in how to do B&W.
Yeah, requires a different bag of tricks. I’ve taken some good B&W pictures, and I’ve taken some absolutley horrible ones that would have been good if only I had used color. :smack:
And then I’ve taken some photos that were just lousy all around, but whatever.
A David Lynch double bill - Elephant Man and Eraserhead
For some reason, Pi was the first answer that came to mind.
Reasons for using B7W seem to be economics (She’s Gotta have It), nostalgia (Paper Moon and Zelig), and artistic decisons (chocolate syrup makes scarier blood than ketchup).
Then there’s the oddball reasons. I read that the war movie Is Paris Burning? was shot in B&W was because the French government wouldn’t allow big, red Nazi flags to be flown in the streets.
Hijack: I once heard a radio show ask “what was the most expensive B&W movie ever made?” but missed the answer. I’ve had to live with the nagging 1% uncertainty of guessing The Longest Day ever since.
I suspect Hitchcock used black and white as much for the claustrophobic atmosphere as the blood – Normal Bates and his mansion against the sky look so much better in b&w than in color. (Still, Hitchcock was fond of new technology, and he’d been doing color for years – Psycho was clearly a conscious choice in b&w)
Keep in mind that black and white was still pretty standard in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Not only Psycho, but Twelve Angry Men and To Kill a Mockingbird and The Train and King Rat and plenty of other movies were all black and white. As late as 1965 The Bedford Incident was black and white – and I don’t think it was for artistic reasons.
But by the mid-1960s color was common and cheap enough that it was becoming the default. I’d say that anyone making a black and white flick after 1970 certainly was doing it on purpose.
The tipping point came in 1954, when the number of color features produced in the U.S. exceeded the number of black and white. In Britain, the same didn’t occur until 1965. Ironically, most black and white movies produced by Hollywood in the 1960s were A-budget pictures.
I heard (on NPR) that he did *Psycho on the fast & cheap, using the production crew from his TV show instead of his usual movie crew, and the economy extended to B&W over color stock as well.
Following by Christopher Nolan
While that is true, B&W was also chosen so no one would realize Marion Crane’s blood was Hershey’s syrup.
Shadows and Fog
Broadway Danny Rose
Der Himmel über Berlin by Wim Wenders, called Wings of Desire in English, remade as City of Angels has inventive use of b&w vs. colour footage.
A superb film.
City of Angels was turned into a black-and-white stage play. Now that is inventive use of lighting and color.
I’d like to do Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard” in B&W