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moments.
April 3rd, 2011, 06:38 AM
So films used to be shot entirely in black and white until around the 1930s when colour started to become part of the technology available to films. What are your thoughts on black and white films? Do you still watch them? Have a favourite black and white classic? Or do you tend to avoid them for any reason?

Mr Cat Dog
April 3rd, 2011, 09:53 AM
Psycho, His Girl Friday, Casablanca, Dr. Strangelove, All About Eve, Tokyo Story, A Bout de Souffle, Touch of Evil... the list goes on. All treasured film memories to me; all in glorious black and white. (In fact, I'm planning on watching His Girl Friday again tonight, I like it that much!)

Black and white cinematography, just like colour cinematography, can be done well or poorly. Sometimes, its modern stylistic usage can be good - see Schindler's List - or bad - see Tetro or The White Ribbon for exercises in pretension. With regards to people who do avoid black and white films, I wish they wouldn't; what annoys me more, however, is just not liking them sight unseen. There are many reasons why modern day audiences may not like them - a preponderance of story and character over explosions and bikini shots - but to simply dismiss them because of their lack of colour is a really short-sighted way to go... like foreign films (but that's a whoooooole other battle for me to get into -_-).

fer
April 3rd, 2011, 02:51 PM
I've been through a few( without watching the whole film) but never got through one sadly, they are just too odd to watch. Color is a number one for me since it certainly is vivid compared to black and white. However, I have nothing against the colors itself.

moments.
April 3rd, 2011, 04:35 PM
they are just too odd to watch.

I think this, and the fact that 'why watch black and white when I can watch colour' is a pretty big like bias in people's minds for not watching black and white films. While I can sort of understand it, I wish they were given more of a try. After the plot is revealed and you learn about some characters, you honestly forget that it is a black and white film...

As for me, I love Hitchcock's films, while not having watched many of them, I think I've seen Psycho and Vertigo each like 10 times having studied them sometime throughout school...
Also love those noir films just because the characters are hilariously bold and act so differently to those in todays films...

Cassino
April 5th, 2011, 11:36 AM
I find the short films from the late 1800s the most interesting. It was amazing enough at the time that pictures could move, so given that, one sees simple, normal things people did at the time. A 'window into history' if you will; I find the same value in some old paintings and the like.

Mr Cat Dog
April 6th, 2011, 05:22 AM
As for me, I love Hitchcock's films, while not having watched many of them, I think I've seen Psycho and Vertigo each like 10 times having studied them sometime throughout school...
Also love those noir films just because the characters are hilariously bold and act so differently to those in todays films...

Vertigo's in colour. Kinda vivid colour actually, especially during the Madeleine transformation scene in the bathroom... dunno what version you've been watching 10 times! And Psycho was originally going to be in colour, but dropped to due financial constraints as well as Hitchcock's fear that audiences wouldn't respond to so much blood in colour.

I'd like to get into noir, but the ones I've seen have either left me slightly baffled (The Big Sleep, for example) or left me with admiration rather than devotion (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard). There's obviously stuff like Chinatown, but that's in colour, for one thing, and is more of a neo-noir, what with all the swearing and violence and incest and what have you.

The Corrupt Plague
April 10th, 2011, 11:43 PM
Yes, I have seen a few and they can be really good, too. You just have to know where to look. To me, color means nothing. You kids had better get off my lawn!

Scarlette
April 19th, 2011, 11:24 PM
Most of my favorite films are in black and white! and Mr Cat Dog said some classics that are a must see!

One of the things I loved about black and white movies is that in the movies for me personally you can feel the actor or actresses emotions so much it comes thru the screen so well, Today I just watched one of my favorite All about Eve starring Bette Davis! and my god can she act! and thos eyes just light up the screen!

Mr Cat Dog
April 20th, 2011, 07:02 AM
Most of my favorite films are in black and white! and Mr Cat Dog said some classics that are a must see!

One of the things I loved about black and white movies is that in the movies for me personally you can feel the actor or actresses emotions so much it comes thru the screen so well, Today I just watched one of my favorite All about Eve starring Bette Davis! and my god can she act! and thos eyes just light up the screen!
My mum was flicking through TV channels with me in the room; All About Eve came on one of them and I made her watch it with me, to her protestations. Two and a half hours later, there was no protestation and just glee emanating from the two of us. Such a good film. Bette Davis gives one of the best performances ever captured on the silver screen: the eyes, the way she smokes, the way she drinks, the way she talks... just everything. She BECOMES Margo Channing completely.

OK, I'll shut up now!

DoubleWide
April 24th, 2011, 09:22 AM
I enjoy Black & White movies, also b&w cartoons when I can find them. Silents are fun to watch as well. TCM recently broadcast the fully restored version of Frtiz Lang's Metropolis which included several previously missing scenes that helped make it that much more enjoyable. To me, it doesn't matter if its b&w or color, as long as its good I'll watch it.