Posted on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 by Russ Fischer
The Coen Brothers‘ new film is Inside Llewyn Davis, and this one is particularly special. It’s a beautiful, bleak picture. One of the characteristics of the movie is a silky, strangely luminous color palette that relies on subdued silvery grey and faded browns. It’s nearly black and white.
That led me back to the brothers’ 2001 film, The Man Who Wasn’t There. Released in black and white, the film was shot in color — with a palette not dissimilar from that of Inside Llewyn Davis — and then graded to B&W in post-production.
A color version of the movie was also finished for contractual reasons, and released on DVD in markets such as France and South Korea. Though the movie wasn’t really intended to be seen in color (most of the making-of shots you’ll see are even B&W) it’s still an interesting way to see the film. Below, see a long color clip from that version, and watch an interview with the Coens talking about its creation.
Here’s the clip — a warning here that this is really only for people who either have seen the film or don’t care about spoilers, as it is the last few minutes of the movie.
For reference, here’s how most of that sequence looks as released in black and white:
Here’s the interview. Specific talk about shooting this movie in color starts at 2:14.