Welcome to the weekly movie thread, your place on the Avocado to talk about films! Have you seen something new in theaters? Caught a classic on streaming? Have very strong opinions and want to drop a hot take? This is the place for you!
Last week, Peter Bogdanovich passed away. He had a prolific career. Among the films he directed was 1971’s The Last Picture Show. Bogdanovich resolved to shoot it in black-and-white after a discussion with Orson Welles. (Reportedly, Welles felt that black-and-white movies made the acting better.). The film itself is set in 1951, and is a bleak look at its teenage residents as they navigate the perils of sex. After exploring options like painting all the buildings gray, Bodganovich chose to film in black-and-white to heighten the bleakness of the Texas setting.
Color film has been around as early as 1899. British inventor Edward Raymond Turner invented a process that would allow him to develop a color motion picture system.
Color film, though, would gain popularity in the late 1930’s with the advent of Technicolor, which was first seen in 1934’s The Cat and The Fiddle. The process would be seen in several classic films like The Wizard of Oz, The Adventures of Robin Hood, anGone With the Wind. In 1950, Eastman Kodak introduced Eastmancolor, and color films would become the standard rather than the exception.
From time to time, though, filmmakers will go back to the classic look. One that evokes or pays homage to a bygone era. Or perhaps to give the film an air of gravitas or to add to the surrealism.
Directors like Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, the Coen brothers, David Lynch, and Prince have directed modern black-and-white films. George Miller and James Mangold insist that their films are better in black-and-white.
Bonus prompt: what is your favorite post-1960 black-and-white film?
Bonus Bonus prompt: I admit, Bogdanovich is a bit of a blind spot for me. So fans of his work, recommend me one of his films.
Next week: 1982