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9 Gorgeous Movies That Chose To Be Black & White Over Color

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9 Gorgeous Movies That Chose To Be Black & White Over Color

One of the biggest evolutions in film history was the transition from black and white to color. Within the era of silent films, just about everything was in black and white, and it wasn’t until the late 1930s/early 1940s when the trend of using consistent, convincing color became more common. Even then, black and white films were still quite common up until the mid-1960s, as shown by the fact that until 1967, the Academy Awards split some award categories into two, with an award for color and an award for black and white (like best costume design, best art direction, and best cinematography).



RELATED: Best Black & White Films Of The Past Decade, Ranked

Even as they became less popular, films shot in black and white have never died out for good. The following nine films are all (mostly) recent examples of black and white used for artistic or thematic reasons, and not out of necessity. As such, it does not include anything made in the 1960s or earlier, nor does it include films that were shot in black and white for budgetary reasons, like Kevin Smith’sClerks.

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Frances Ha (2012)

Frances Ha is a simple and charming film about a young woman dealing with the highs and lows of life in one’s 20s. It captures the insecurities, worries, uncertainties, and freedom of that period in a person’s life, and its well-executed thanks to a great lead performance by Greta Gerwig, solid direction by Noah Baumbach, and a good screenplay written by the both of them.

The black and white visuals present modern New York in a way that it’s not often seen, though admittedly, this is probably the kind of movie where black and white was used because it looked cool, rather than it specifically meaning something. It’s possible, however, that it could help things feel more nostalgic or emotional, or it could represent the contrast between the highs and lows of the lead character’s turbulent and unpredictable life.

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C’mon C’mon (2021)

C’mon C’mon was a film that unfortunately seemed to get buried by other releases during the 2021 awards season. It was a moving and excellently acted drama about a journalist – who’s used to living and working on his own – being asked to look after his young nephew, with the two forming a bond and learning about life from each other.

RELATED: Overlooked Movies From 2021 That Deserve More Love

It does sound a little corny on paper, and like the kind of movie that’s been done before, but the naturalistic feel of the acting and the atmospheric visuals/music elevate it greatly. The lack of color doesn’t make the film feel cold at all – it somehow adds to the emotion, making it a more moving and memorable experience.

Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler’s List is arguably Steven Spielberg’s greatest film, which is impressive, considering how many great movies he’s made. It’s a historical war drama about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of over 1000 Jewish workers during World War Two.

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It does contain a few instances of color – most notably the final scene/epilogue, and a few moments with a young girl who wears a red coat – but otherwise, it’s all shot in black and white. It contributes to the historical feeling of the film, given most footage shot during WW2 was in black and white, and also makes the brief bursts of color particularly emotional and difficult to forget.


Nebraska (2013)

Nebraska ranks as one of director Alexander Payne’s best movies and is a charming, entertaining dramedy about an elderly man and his middle-aged son taking a road trip together to collect an apparent $1 million sweepstakes prize.

Black and white works well here, when paired with the film’s themes about growing old, as well as dealing with a somewhat drab, dreary way of life in small-town America. It also does wonders for the scenery and overall setting of the film, which probably wouldn’t look as striking in a film with Nebraska’s tone, were it to be filmed in color.

Ed Wood (1994)

Ed Wood is a film that shows director Tim Burton can do more than the horror, fantasy, or comic book movies he’s best known for. It’s a biopic about the infamous filmmaker, Ed Wood, who has become celebrated for his low-budget, odd, and often technically inept films. Unlike many biopics, it’s tremendously entertaining and strikes a great balance between humor and melancholy.

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The reason for the black and white visuals is pretty obvious, too. It evokes the 1950s when the film was set, and more specifically, allows Burton to pay visual homage to the black and white visuals Wood used throughout his career. It’s hard to imagine what this movie would even look like in color, in all honesty.

The Lighthouse (2019)

Robert Eggers’ second feature is a unique and genre-busting film that mixes surreal horror, fantasy, allegory, psychological drama, and toilet humor in its story about two lighthouse keepers who are gradually driven mad from isolation and the hellish qualities of the tiny island they are forced to live on.

RELATED: From ‘Hereditary’ to ‘The Lighthouse’: A24’s Most Twisted Films, Ranked

The Lighthouse also boasts some amazingly striking black and white cinematography. It adds to the creepy visuals in numerous key scenes and also evokes the late 19th century, which is when the film is set. Without being in black and white, The Lighthouse probably wouldn’t be as eerie, dark, or mysterious, so it’s without a doubt to the film’s benefit that Eggers chose to shoot it that way.

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Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull is one of Martin Scorsese’s best films, and potentially his most well-known movie that isn’t about crime or gangsters. It still deals with violence and a greatly troubled lead character, though. In this case, it focuses on real-life boxer Jake LaMotta – played by a mesmerizing Robert De Niro – and the way his volatile temper and aggressive personality ultimately lead to his downfall.

There is a brief sequence in this film that uses color, but at least 95% of the film is in stark black and white. It works to reflect the way old boxing matches would have been televised and photographed in black and white, and also helps make the film feel sadder and more despairing, particularly because the single color sequence is used to depict a rare, non-negative period in LaMotta’s life.


Control (2007)

Control is a biopic about the English post-punk band, Joy Division, with a focus on their hugely gifted and deeply troubled lead singer, Ian Curtis. It’s notable for being directed by Anton Corbijn, who worked with the actual band while they were active, being their photographer.

Corbijn’s photography always utilizes a stark black and white style, and so it made sense for his film to employ the same technique. Thematically, it also helps portray Curtis’ state of mind and bleak outlook on the world, as he was known to have suffered from severe depression that was often reflected in the band’s dark, hard-hitting music.

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The White Ribbon (2009)

The White Ribbon is one of Michael Haneke’s best and most celebrated films. The Austrian-German filmmaker is known for his bleak, difficult style of filmmaking, with The White Ribbon taking things even further by being photographed in black and white.

With a story about a small town that’s rocked by a series of mysterious crimes and tragedies, the lack of color adds greatly to the sense of despair, isolation, and sadness felt by said town and its inhabitants. With bleak visuals and even bleaker subjects, it’s not a film for everyone, but those who can handle it will be rewarded with a greatly memorable film experience made by an expert director at the height of his powers.

NEXT: Guillermo del Toro Is Releasing a Black-And-White Version of ‘Nightmare Alley’

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Quick News: Onion, Nope, Clerks 3, Genies – Dark Horizons

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Quick News: Onion, Nope, Clerks 3, Genies – Dark Horizons

Netflix

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
The Toronto International Film Festival has revealed its first world premiere with Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” set to debut. The first “Knives Out” similarly had its debut in 2019 at the festival.

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The sequel will follow Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to Greece as he attempts to solve yet another mystery. Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista co-star. [Source: TIFF]

Nope
The U.S. ratings board the MPAA has handed out an R-rating for Jordan Peele’s highly-anticipated horror movie “Nope,” labelling it has having violence, bloody images, and strong language – the same as Peele’s two prior films “Get Out” and “Us”. [Source: MPAA]

Clerks 3
Filmmaker Kevin Smith has confirmed that the first trailer for “Clerks III” will arrive this time next week (July 6th). Dante, Randal, Becky, Jay and Silent Bob all return for the new film which begins a screening tour starting in September. [Source: Twitter]

Eight Billion Genies
Amazon Studios has landed the film and TV rights to Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s comic “Eight Billion Genies”. No writer or filmmaker is attached as yet but the plan is for a cross-media universe starting with a feature.

The eight-issue limited series turns on the premise that every single person on the planet got a genie and one wish? Within seconds, the world is transformed into a collision of desires as varied as the humans who made them. [Source: THR]

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Behold Ryan Gosling’s Ken doll scream in footage from ‘Barbie’ set

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Behold Ryan Gosling’s Ken doll scream in footage from ‘Barbie’ set

Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Warner Bros. is bringing the fantastically plastic world of Barbie to life in the upcoming summer hit of 2023, Barbie. The film stars Margot Robbie as the titular character alongside Ryan Gosling as her handsome counterpart, Ken.

Principal photography is underway now, and we’ve seen the dazzling duo rocking bright pinks, western wear, and now their uber fashionable 90s neon skate gear

The pair are donning the latter when a passerby sees Barbie at the beach and makes the instantly-regrettable decision to grope her.

The instant regret comes for the stranger as Barbie turns around to knock him out, and instead of jumping at her rescue, we hear Gosling’s Ken react in a tragic and totally fitting way. He simply screams — and it’s a theatrical one.

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The scream is so iconic that it quickly became a topic of conversation on social media.

After the scream, Barbie and Ken hold onto each other while trembling at the lack of concern and personal space — and because, let’s face it, Barbie just punched a guy in the face!

Fans are reacting to the moment exactly as you’d hope — some of them are worried about Gosling’s throat after that.

Did Gosling study for this exact moment? It appears so!

This fan says that dedicated fans have heard Gosling’s iconic scream before, and he’s continuing to share its greatness with all of us.

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Fans are confused that the clip is showing up in the horror tag, but it makes sense — Scream is often related to the Ghostface killer. Speaking of Ghostface and Gosling, can we get the man in the next Scream movie, even as a cameo?

You’ll have to wait for a little over a year to see Gosling and Robbie as Ken and Barbie, but it’ll be worth it — especially if we get more moments like this one. Barbie hits theaters on July 21, 2023.

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Dano, Coel, Turturro Join

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Dano, Coel, Turturro Join

Warner Bros. Pictures

“I May Destroy You” star/creator Michaela Coel along with “The Batman” alums John Turturro and Paul Dano are all joining the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” TV series at Amazon Prime.

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The series is based on Doug Liman’s 2005 feature of the same name starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. In that film, the pair played a married couple that discovers each is leading a double life as an assassin after they’re contracted to take each other out.

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine will star in the title roles in the series version with the just-announced three to guest star. “PEN15” co-creator/star Erskine replaced “Fleabag” creator/star Phoebe Waller-Bridge who was originally set to star alongside her “Solo” co-star Glover.

Source: Variety

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