Can We Stop Fetishizing Black And White Movies?

I will admit that some movies look better in black and white than color.  It’s often striking how the contrast between light and dark can create a sense of tension, of drama.

I was going to watch A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night when I noticed that it was shot in black and white, and I almost immediately lost interest (I haven’t watched it yet, though I will at some point) because what also tends to come with a lack of color is an odd sort of snobbery, as if just by being made in black and white it’s somehow elevated.

Which is tiring because, let’s be honest, the only reason that there’s black and white anything is because color had not been invented yet.  If it had, black and white movies and television would probably be relegated to boutique and prestige-type projects (which is oddly ironic because that’s for the most part how it’s used these days.

Two of my favorite movies, Twelve Angry Men, and Anatomy Of A Murder are done in black and white, and they’re both gorgeous.  That being said, if they were originally made in color would that somehow lessen their impact?  Would E.G. Marshall, Henry Fonda or James Stewart’s performances somehow be diminished because of it?

I’d doubt it (though that’s not to say that we should go back and colorize movies because that typically looks odd, particularly flesh tones, which often look garish).

Besides, there’s one important reason why color came into dominance, namely its the way people actually see (for the most part).

By way of analogy, it’s as if you had a choice between an ice-cold Heineken and a ice-cold Old Milwaukee, and you decide to go with the latter.

Which is a valid choice, but also one I have absolutely no understanding of.

Old Milwaukee beer

Friends don’t let friends drink pretty bad beer.

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