I’m not an expert on early 20th century film, but I have watched enough black and white movies to know why more black and white shows today would be freaking awesome!
There are many things color films can do better than black and white films, like showing the flowers in a meadow for instance, but black and white films can also do things that color films can’t do!
My three favorite things that black and white films can do that color films can’t do are:
- Maximize the expression of hardcore, rugged faces.
- Add a level of coolness you can’t get another way.
- Make shadows pop like physical objects.
I’ve thought of some crazy ideas for black and white television shows over the years. But the people making it have to do it right. The people watching for the first time have to see all those cool things mentioned above that only black and white films can do. In other words, if a black and white show was to be successful today, it would need to be “optimized” to provide outlets for all the awesome aspects of black and white film. It would need to show a lot of shadows, a lot of grim faces with a range of expressions. Scruffy eyebrows and misty alleys. Lightning, mist and rain. Show only what looks good in black and white, like gargoyles on gnarly walls as mist drifts by, and swords clanging. Sparks flying. Black and white does that the best!
One of my favorite black and white films is Citizen Kane. The beginning scene opens up so beautifully! You could have a whole movie with that kind of grim cinematography you see in the first two minutes of Citizen Kane. Go and watch it and tell me it ain’t the most beautiful two minutes ever. Seeing the old building covered in mist behind the chain-link fence made me think of what an old castle covered in mist behind an epic, personal 1 vs. 1 sword duel would like look filmed the same way. If done right, a black and white film can be the dankest thing you’ve ever seen. The dank is good!
So who wants to start a petition and complain with me: “Why isn’t there more black and white TV shows, huh?”
Let’s complain in all the forums till we see a change! Until TV is Klickable again!