Clerks was made in black and white, not for stylistic purposes but because the makers of the film couldn’t afford to shoot in colour. The film went on to be a massive cult hit, despite being a black and white picture. I would wager that most cinema audiences would rather watch a film in colour – rather than black and white.
The latter has connotations of ‘olden days’ in which films contained little violence, sex, gore. But the development of colour movies was hard due to the expense of Technicolor and the Academy had two separate awards for best art direction – one for colour and one for black and white films from 1945-1960.
Black and white also has connotations to the art house. Bergman liked to use black and white for the vast majority of his films despite colour being available. Polanski used black and white to tremendous effect in both Repulsion and Cul de Sac. Bresson filmed two seminal art house classics – Mouchette and Au Hasard Balthazar.
Below are some examples of cult movie black and white classics. Please share your own favourites below…
This article was first posted on January 15, 2014