PS: The Art of Black & White Since 1970

  • 2
  • Idea
  • Updated 5 days ago
  • (Edited)
Intro:

There are many b&w pictures on the market. Some earlier were made in
b&w, because there wasn't any color film material or later at first
the color movies were too expensive. But when you look closer there
were always movies filmed in b&w, even when color was up to date. The reduction of colors to b&w often allows another perception. Movies like The Third Man (1949) used the strong contrast and the layout of the scenes. Black & White is a form of art that retained the decades. In which of these b&w works since 1970 would you consider the most artful useage of b&w? Discuss here.

Rules:

Movies 6.5+/10. No animee or animated, no documentation, no movie before 1970. The usage of b&w should be an essential style element for creativity. It should be dominant. Please give me an one sentence description why your suggestion fits for the list.

List:

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls091386932/

Poll:

?
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
  • excited

Posted 1 week ago

  • 2
Photo of Stephen Atwood

Stephen Atwood

  • 1427 Posts
  • 1271 Reply Likes
How did you research this? You missed a lot....
Cold War (2018)
Frances Ha (2012)
Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
The White Ribbon (2009)
The Turin Horse (2011)
Melancholia (2011)
Control (2008)
13 Tzameti (2005)
Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
Cowards Bend the Knee (2003)
The Man Who Wasn't There (2004)
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001)
Following (1998)
The General (1998)
Pi (1998)
Samurai Fiction (1998)
La Haine (1995)
Ed Wood (1994)
Man Bites Dog (1992)
Shadows and Fog (1991)
In the Soup (1992)
Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
Sidewalk Stories (1989)

Black Rain (1989)Kuroi ame 
Down by Law (1986)
Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
Chan Is Missing (1982)
The Elephant Man (1981)
Stardust Memories (1980)
Forbidden Zone (1982)
Manhattan (1979)
Killer of Sheep (1978)
Eraserhead (1977)
Alice in the Cities (1974)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Paper Moon (1973)

The Last Picture Show (1971)

I just went hunting and pecking here...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_black-and-white_films_produced_since_1970

Documentaries aren't called documentation.



Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
Stephen Atwood:
Thank you for joining, but that's not what I intended. Searching a list for picking every b&w-movie is not intended. I know some of them. Do you know them all? And what is the special clue about each movie you mentioned? This one is about the fine art of filming in black and white, not only a pure list of every black and white movie you can identify as a black and white movie on a list of wikipedia. It should have a pecial finesse. Without the describing lines, I must turn down your suggestion.
Btw: 'Down by Law' is already on the list.
I'd pick 'Pi' and 'Eraserhead' on the list. For these two movies it's obvious to me, and eventually 'The Elephant Man'.
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
Maybe you have a line for 'The Elephant Man'?
Please give me lines and I'll put your suggestions to the list.
If I don't know some of the movies, I just can take them to the list with your line.
Photo of Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin)

Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

  • 3143 Posts
  • 4135 Reply Likes
Breumaster, some movies which in my humble opinion deserve a place in the list from those abovementioned:

Young Frankenstein (1974) (cinematography-wise this classic comedy is no joke when it comes to pain-stalkingly replicating the feel of Universal classics)
C'est arrivé près de chez vous (1992) (masterful and uncompromising neo-noir mockumentary, which uses black-and-white 16 mm stock to give the movie more character)
Ed Wood (1994) (just as subject's own movies, this was intended to be in black-and-white, but unlike them it has a great cinematography and depth to it)
Tetsuo (1989) (very expermiental use of black-and-white film in conjunction with video, mesmerizing stop motion sequences set to industrial score)
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) (rather glorious film noir homage)
Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) (given that movie was made in 17 years, the choice to shoot all of the segments in black-and-white is a brillant way to convey the tone in a feature-length version) 
 
Really interested in seeing Sidewalk Stories (1989), by the way.
(Edited)
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
Nikolay:
Thank you for the input. I've put these suggestions to the list. Because Stephen Atwwod suggested some movies seconded by you, I've put him to the suggested by line, too. :D
Photo of Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin)

Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

  • 3143 Posts
  • 4135 Reply Likes
Despite Stephen Atwood's response is full of terrific movies and pretty much already stokes the poll full, I also have an FYC:
A Field in England (2013).

Overall, I love the idea behind this poll. Much like choosing the format, be it film, digital, video, mixed etc. choosing to shoot in black-and-white is a purely artisitic decision nowadays. I've heard quite a few people saying that it's archaic and not getting the point about it, but it's easily compared to painting: we never demolished painting just because we invented photography and moreover there are hundreds of ways something could be painted or drawn, same goes for cinema. Oddly, when I point that out I also encounter people from time to time who can't get the point of painting either. This saddens me deeply. My father is an artist and a painter and raised in traditions of classic art, I value and treat all the methods in all art forms with equal respect. 
(Edited)
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
My grandfather was a painter, he painted the images in oils.
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
Thank you, Nikolay.
What's the special turn of b&w in the movie you mentioned? Please give me a line for it.
Photo of Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin)

Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

  • 3143 Posts
  • 4135 Reply Likes
A Field in England (2013) utilizes a unique black-and-white (although there is one logo in color near the end of end credits, I have a hard time thinking about whether it should be indicated on IMDb) digital cinematoraphy which uses experimental self-made and cheap lenses. It is really unique and I seldom encounter cases of movies with such a distinctive look. 
(Edited)
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
Nikolay: Thank you for the lines. I added a "To make it look cheap and dirty."-line. Is it common sense, or should I delete it? Sorry, I just had the idea that this could be the intended feature. Please tell me. ;)
Photo of Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin)

Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

  • 3143 Posts
  • 4135 Reply Likes
Breumaster, no, I don't believe "cheap and dirty" would make any sense in this particular case, nor does movie actually look cheap or rugged (I'd say there are quite a few moments which actually don't look like they were made with the budget movie actually had). "They aimed for a mesmerizing and unique experience" would make more sense. 
Photo of leavey-2

leavey-2

  • 1982 Posts
  • 1628 Reply Likes
FYC and my absolute favorite: Raging Bull (1980)

Filmed in gorgeous black and white photography by cinematographer Michael Chapman, Scorsese beautifully captures the graphic images of boxing in the forties and fifties and the immediate violence permeating the entire story.
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
leavey-2
I will take it to the list. I still know the sweatdrops exploding in the rough fight.
(Edited)
Photo of Peter

Peter, Champion

  • 6906 Posts
  • 8540 Reply Likes
Just so you know, we have had several polls on this subject.

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%...
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
Thank you, Peter.
Maybe this is an issue many people miss. This is not an conventional "Best Black & White Movie List". It's more about the arftully images that are created through it. I surely can take a b&w movie list from the internet and write down any film from it, but that wasn't the issue. The issue is that the users remember on a fine peace of b&w-art and describe it with a line or two. But sure not every b&w movie. I'd count "Young Frankenstein" as on the borderline between fine art and just b&w. Maybe I'll put it on the list. That has nothing to do with judging the story or the actors, it's just about the pure camera work.
Photo of Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin)

Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

  • 3143 Posts
  • 4135 Reply Likes
Another FYC: 
Clerks (1994) - a movie that proved that you can film contemporary Generation X setting in black-and-white and still be modern. By extension still inspires people to go for black-and-white, despite it's not as significant for budget these days. 
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
I've put it on the list, even though I'm not so happy with the Jarmush's. The movies are all a little dry.

Monday I saw 'The Lighthouse'. As a hobby photographer who has seen the darkroom, I can tell: This is surely art ! 'The Lighthouse' is a moving black and white picture I could frame and put it on the wall ! Pure photo-iconic enthusiasm, harsh play with contrasts in some parts, hard lines of a face in minimal light, and so on, and so on, and so on. This movie is a real black & white photographers joy. Again I had to learn, that I'm not really fluent in spoken English words, I didn't get 30%. But only with the pictures and the presenting actors it was very high atmospheric. I hope they will dub it for Germany. I was highly impressed, even though I didn't get enough to follw the story clearly. This movie is a photographic feast ! :D

This one is the best example for what I wanted to inted with that poll idea. It inspired me strongly to give the idea to getsatisfaction.com/IMDb.
(Edited)
Photo of Breumaster

Breumaster

  • 3103 Posts
  • 4469 Reply Likes
Shortened the Intro to:

"Some earlier movies were made in black & white, because there wasn't any color film material or it would have been to expensive. The reduction of colors to black & white in modern productions allow another perception. Former movies like The Third Man (1949) used the strong contrast and the layout of the scenes. Black & white is a form of art that retained the decades. Which of these black & white works since 1970 would you consider the most artful useage of black & white? (Please note: The issue is only about the visual impression!) Discuss here."
Photo of Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin)

Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

  • 3143 Posts
  • 4135 Reply Likes
Just stumbled upon this article by chance and thought it might be useful for composition of the poll. I only saw Frances Ha (2012) out of those, actually and I probably should rectify that.