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Black And White In Colour


Palmerin
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As I watched NORTH BY NORTHWEST today I realized how crushingly monochromatic that film is. There is such a preponderance of grey--virtually the only color of the menswear--that it really seems that the only color is the red of the faces of the actors.

Why do so many movies fail to take advantage of the rich possibilities of color photography? NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is not in color; its photography is all endless shades of brown, ochre, sepia, sienna, etc.!

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As I watched NORTH BY NORTHWEST today I realized how crushingly monochromatic that film is. There is such a preponderance of grey--virtually the only color of the menswear--that it really seems that the only color is the red of the faces of the actors.

Why do so many movies fail to take advantage of the rich possibilities of color photography? NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is not in color; its photography is all endless shades of brown, ochre, sepia, sienna, etc.!

 

Now now, Palmerin! Don't you know that grey is timeless and always in vogue?!

 

In fact, just recently a movie was made about this very color!

 

50 shades of it, in fact!

 

(...yeah, I know...you saw that one comin' down main street before I even had finished the setup, didn't ya) ;) 

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As I watched NORTH BY NORTHWEST today I realized how crushingly monochromatic that film is. There is such a preponderance of grey--virtually the only color of the menswear--that it really seems that the only color is the red of the faces of the actors.

Why do so many movies fail to take advantage of the rich possibilities of color photography? NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is not in color; its photography is all endless shades of brown, ochre, sepia, sienna, etc.!

 

Ha!

 

Ha!

 

I've been saying that for YEARS!

 

It is because WE TCM FANS are used to seeing real 3-strip Technicolor films, made from the late 1930s until the early 1950s, such as THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE HARVEY GIRLS, the 1950s SHOW BOAT, and the late 1940s Betty Grable musicals. Those were REAL color films, with ALL the colors in them, vivid yellow, green, purple, blue, orange, pink, and all sorts of other real and vivid colors, just like we see in real life.

 

For the past 40 years, the color standards of Hollywood have gradually gone way down in movies, and so many movies today are basically "brown" with a little "orange" in people's faces and some faint "blue" in skys.

 

This is just poor color quality quality control in film-making, and all of these are shot on 1-strip Eastman color film, rather than 3-strip Technicolor film.

 

Colors in films today are all blended together and are no longer separated and vivid in modern films like they used to be in real 3-strip Technicolor films.

 

tumblr_mdvzd9VY2a1qbuqcio1_500.gif

 

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As I watched NORTH BY NORTHWEST today I realized how crushingly monochromatic that film is. There is such a preponderance of grey--virtually the only color of the menswear--that it really seems that the only color is the red of the faces of the actors.

Why do so many movies fail to take advantage of the rich possibilities of color photography? NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is not in color; its photography is all endless shades of brown, ochre, sepia, sienna, etc.!

There is one bright spot, at least. I really enjoy seeing Eva in her hotel room with Cary - she's wearing that red dress.. which stands out so well in her gray room, and yet virtually disappears as it blends into the red-browns of the hotel lobby.

 

I believe Hitch used these palettes in order to punctuate certain things; in this film as well as others.

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Yep, good point, Kid. All that monochromatic background, as Palmerin noted, does make Eva's dress "pop" there, doesn't it.

 

Though ain't it a shame Hitch couldn't hunt down a couple of more attractive people for the leads in this baby?! ;)

 

(...I still remember the first time I watched this one on I think the old ABC Sunday Night Movies, and wow, did I ever fall for Eva there ever afterwards...and of course hoped one day I would grow up to be as swavee and deboner as Cary...well, as you've probably noticed after all this time around here...MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!)

 

LOL 

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Ha!

 

It is because WE TCM FANS are used to seeing real 3-strip Technicolor films, made from the late 1930s until the early 1950s, such as THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE HARVEY GIRLS, the 1950s SHOW BOAT, and the late 1940s Betty Grable musicals. Those were REAL color films, with ALL the colors in them, vivid yellow, green, purple, blue, orange, pink, and all sorts of other real and vivid colors, just like we see in real life.

 

 

 

The color in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD is indeed a feast for the eyes.

It's one of my all-time favorite movies and one of the reasons is the brilliant color cinematography. 

 

Annex%20-%20Flynn,%20Errol%20(Adventures

robinhood222.jpg

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Ha!

 

Ha!

 

I've been saying that for YEARS!

 

It is because WE TCM FANS are used to seeing real 3-strip Technicolor films, made from the late 1930s until the early 1950s, such as THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE HARVEY GIRLS, the 1950s SHOW BOAT, and the late 1940s Betty Grable musicals. Those were REAL color films, with ALL the colors in them, vivid yellow, green, purple, blue, orange, pink, and all sorts of other real and vivid colors, just like we see in real life.

 

For the past 40 years, the color standards of Hollywood have gradually gone way down in movies, and so many movies today are basically "brown" with a little "orange" in people's faces and some faint "blue" in skys.

 

This is just poor color quality quality control in film-making, and all of these are shot on 1-strip Eastman color film, rather than 3-strip Technicolor film.

 

Colors in films today are all blended together and are no longer separated and vivid in modern films like they used to be in real 3-strip Technicolor films.

 

 

BUT, let's take a look at the movies you've just listed in order to make your point here, Fred.

 

(...not that you'll bother reading or replying to what I'm about to say though...but I'm still going to continue on here anyway with my thought as perhaps others reading this exchange might glean something of it)

 

ALL of them are "bigger than life" stories...Adventure film and Musicals. And so, because the idea that these genres are more "fantasy" tales and thus less based in reality, the idea that the colors within them would and should be brighter and "bigger than life" would be understandable.

 

And as I'm sure you know, the Flynn film IS "fantasy" and based upon legend, as the real historical facts of a person who has come to be known as "Robin Hood" are not represented historical correct in that film, 

 

However, with NBNW being in the "Thriller" genre, and with very discernible overtones of a Noir in many aspects, and genres which are most often better presented in more muted colors OR no colors at all, and in order to give these stories more a "realistic", "darker" and "ominous" feel, well, sorry, but I think your use of those aforementioned movies in order to make what appears to be a point about the softer colors that Hitch used in making NBNW here is more a case of "apples and oranges" than anything else. 

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There are loads of beautiful black and white films, even relatively recent ones (and by "recent" I mean since around 1970).

 

I like directors who sometimes choose to still make a b & w movie. Sometimes these filmmakers are accused of being pretentious, or self-consciously retro.

But I say, they just appreciate the beauty of black and white, and want to make a film that way.

Of course, that alone would not make it a good movie.

 

One of the more interesting films from the last few years (actually many years, 1998)  that uses both black and white  AND colour is Pleasantville.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120789/

 

It's not for all tastes, but I really liked it.

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