Sunday, September 27, 2015

Only in Black and White

Black and white is the original template for the movies; a perusal of any “Greatest Films of All Time” list will reveal a bulk of black and white entries. One of the (many) unfortunate aspects of contemporary media culture is that black and white visual expression has fallen by the wayside, leaving great swaths of Millennial viewers ignorant of it. Contemporary black and white cinematography is most likely to be seen, when it is, in independent or foreign cinema, almost never in major Hollywood releases or on television. Black and white has come to be seen as an obstacle for viewers to overcome instead of something to embrace; consider Ted Turner’s misguided “colorizing” of classic films to make them accessible. Such a strategy is tantamount to producing a Shakespeare play from one of those “No Fear” editions—easier comprehension doesn’t result so much as grotesque cheapening.  

...or nay?