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June 1994


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Stephen Hart <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 9 Jun 1994 09:52:00 EST
text/plain (36 lines)
                      E L E C T R O N I C   M E S S A G E
                                        Date:     09-Jun-1994 09:36am EST
                                        From:     Stephen Hart
                                        Level:    Post-secondary/University
                                        Tel No:   904-644-4839
TO:  Remote Addressee                     ( _jnet%screen-l@ua1vm )
Subject: re: B&W
It seems to me that the use of black and white nowadays is purely an
aesthetic choice on the director's part.  Woody Allen (along with Sydney
Pollack and other) defended the creative use or choice of B&W against the
potentially wanton use of colorization before a congressional committee a
few years ago:  If one chose to use balck and white over color, no one
should be able to colorize the film if that's not what the director
intended, was the sum of the testimony.
Though it probably could've worked just as well in color, _Schindler's
list_ did have a tone that the B&W helped to create, as someone mentioned
yesterday (as to it contributing to historical accuracy, I don't know, but
I won't go into that now).  Recent films like _JFK_ and _Malcolm X_ used
some b&W clips for dramatic impact, and to recreate news footage and
historical events (so it does contribute to historical accuracy!).  Some
other films use similiar effects for impact and to emphasize flashbacks,
dreams and the like.  _Internal affairs_ and _Passanger 57_ come to mind.
(I don't know what the effect is called technically, but it involves the
frame being tinted in a single color, as in _Internal affairs_, or the film
made to look like a negative, seen early in _Passanger 57_)
Someone may want to expound on this a bit more ... ?
Stephen Hart, Florida State Univ.