Ever since motion pictures began adopting Technicolor, the once-traditional use of black and white photography eventually went out the window. After all, an overwhelming majority of the population sees the world in full color, so why wouldn’t they want to see movies in the same way?
But while most of our movies are presented in color today, whether it’s tinted, saturated, toned, there are still plenty of respectable and mesmerizing movies from past and present that look positively stunning in black and white. From Stanley Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss in 1955 to Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List in 1993 to last year’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, there’s some amazing black and white imagery here.
Watch the black and white movies supercut after the jump! Read More »
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. Read More »