For as long as the technology has existed, there has been resistance
to the idea of colorizing old films. For
one thing, colorization, like plastic surgery, has always been a pig in a poke,
and a poor job can make After look worse than Before.
Furthermore, black and white photography is an art
form in itself, and one that particularly suits certain stories and types of
shots. Film noir, characterized by low-key lighting, bleak
urban settings, and cynical characters, is especially suited to it.
Color is good for showing both substance and form, and
conveying a sense of vivid realism. But
sometimes color actually distracts from the message. Black and white is better when forms and
textures are more important than substance.
It is far superior at showing shadows, and can make it easier to focus
on a character’s emotional state and read their eyes without distraction. While color impresses the sense of actually
being there, black and white suggests timelessness.
The original 1959-1964 Twilight Zone series is the only one
of the four to be shot in monochrome, and took advantage of that medium’s
strengths to tell its stories. But in a
156 episode anthology, with a wide variety of settings and characters, there
are at least a few of them that would have benefited from color.