Life, just like the movies I have seen, is in full colour. When I hear about a black and white movie, it seems boring and not appealing but in fact, some of the black and white movies were, and still are some of the classics of all time.
At first, when movies started, the movement in the movies was very exciting. When colour appeared it seemed like black and white was out. No one ever expected that any director would ever choose black and white movies where in fact directors have used the black and white to create a period in time that colour could never represent.
In spite of the younger generation’s resistance to black and white movies, there has been some brave and successful attempts to film in black and white. The opposition to black and white claims that black and white movies are not a good representation of life, which is full of colour. The supporters claim that in times where computers can create a visual effect of anything possible, there is no such thing as real colour.
Film makers found magic in back and white colour and used it brilliantly in an artistic way to present old times.
You w ill be surprised to know that some of the top movies, in terms of worldwide box office income and not including earnings from videos and DVDs, are in black and white.
Top 10 black and white movies
1. Young Frankenstein – 1974
2. Manhattan – 1979
3. Good Night and Good Luck – 2005
4. Psycho -1960
5. Mom and Dad – 1944
6. Paper Moon – 1973
7. From here to eternity – 1953
8. Some Like is Hot – 1959
9. The best years of our lives – 1946
10. Lenny – 1974
It is important to note that some of the movies are not old, but were deliberately chosen to be filmed in black and white. The newest being “Good Night and Good Luck”.
The best years of our lives also won the Oscar for the best movie and Alfred Hitchcock proved in his movie “Psycho” that quality can be delivered even if it is in back and white.
One step forward from the black and white movies was the combination black and white and colour films where there is a mix of black and white and colour in one film. One of the most successful of all times Steven Spielberg filmed 1993’s Holocaust drama “Schindler’s List” in black and white with the single use of red color with the little girl sweater, representing the loss of the color in life.
Another brave artistic attempt was Robert Rodriguez in “Sin City” (2005) – a movie with a surreal spin on comics. Without much color, it was a celebration of color and an amazing piece of art.
The combination movies – Black and white and color became an artistic way to present ideas and messages. They have been used successfully to move people from the black and white mindset to the lively colorful mindset, like presented in “Pleasantville” (1998).
Like in any photograph or a painting, the real art is in the successful manipulation of lights, the black and white movies are another artistic way to represent life, with all its colors.