Modern cinema is black and white: 8 masterpieces that fall in love with monochrome

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There are many black-and-white paintings from the past that have become masterpieces – viewers are happy to revise them to this day. At the same time, attempts to translate them into color often do not cause delight among ordinary people, because that special atmosphere is lost. Some talented directors of our time understand that non-color films have a unique charm and can emphasize what is not said in words. Sometimes actors do without lyrics at all. Such works often become laureates of prestigious competitions. And this is no coincidence, because the viewer has something to see and think about.

“Artist” (2011)

  • KinoPoisk: 7.9.
  • IMDb: 7,9.

The picture has a very high viewership rating – the masses really liked it. When it comes to evaluating professionals, five Oscars and several other prestigious awards speak for themselves. The film is dedicated to silent films, and there is a minimum of sound in it. This allows you to fully plunge into the atmosphere of the cinema of the beginning of the last century, to appreciate the specific techniques and acting skills. By the way, Jean Dujardin, who played the main character, won the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

The action takes place in 1927. The movie star George Valentine shines on the screens. Posing in front of the cameras after the next premiere, he accidentally bumps into the extra Pippi Miller. George sympathizes with the girl, and she really falls in love with him. Meanwhile, the era of silent films is drawing to a close, but conservative Valentine decides to direct the picture without sound. This leads him to oblivion and poverty. Peppy, on the other hand, becomes a famous sound film actress, but does not forget about her love.

Sweet Francis (2012)

  • KinoPoisk: 7.4.
  • IMDb: 7,5.

Tragicomedy about female friendship and everyday problems. Black and white colors perfectly highlight the complex life of a New York dancer. And the plot of the picture itself is not easy. Director Noah Baumbach took an atypical path. The central character turned out to be so versatile that in different scenes of the picture he evokes sympathy and condemnation. This approach was highly appreciated by film critics. They also paid tribute to the leading actress Greta Gerwig, who was nominated for a Golden Globe.

The film tells the story of the life of Francis Halladay. The 27-year-old girl dreams of achieving success in choreography, but she does not possess outstanding abilities and cannot get a job in prestigious studios. But these are not the only problems. As luck would have it, her boyfriend leaves her, and her best friend first stops sharing secrets, and then completely moves away and moves to her boyfriend. Francis abuses alcohol more and more, which is why he often finds himself in unpleasant or simply comical situations.

Frankenweenie (2012)

  • KinoPoisk: 7.1.
  • IMDb: 6,9.

Black and white full-length 3D cartoon has become one of the most popular in this collection. It is based on a 1984 short feature film. Both projects were directed by Tim Burton at Disney. The modern version not only differs in a detailed plot – it has become more fun and life-affirming. Of course, animals who have risen from the graves may not seem like the best idea for a children’s tape. But in the end, the picture turned out to be quite funny and will be interesting for the whole family.

In the center of the plot is schoolboy Victor Frankenstein and his dog Sparky. The guy loves his pet very much, and the unexpected death of the latter under the wheels of the car becomes a real blow. However, the boy comes up with a way to revive the dog. Sewing the remains of the dog piece by piece, he brings it back to life with the help of handicraft equipment and lightning. Victor’s classmates follow his example to win the school competition. But if Sparky, looking creepy, remains good-natured, then the rest of the resurrected animals begin to terrorize the city.

Cold War (2018)

  • KinoPoisk: 7.3.
  • IMDb: 7,6.

A drama by Polish director Pavel Pavlikovsky about love, homeland and life in exile. The monochrome format does not look like an attempt to imitate old films, but emphasizes the tragedy of the plot. Excellent camera work makes the shots quite expressive and allows you to see all the accents that are not indicated in words. The picture has a deep meaning, which was appreciated by many film critics. Cold War has won five European Film Academy awards and many other awards.

The plot begins in 1949. Composer and pianist Viktor Warski travels through the villages of post-war Poland looking for talented folk singers. The girl Zulya conquers him with her clear voice and open eyes. Love breaks out between them. Zulya sings in the song and dance ensemble created by Varsky. The communist system does not suit Victor. On tour in Berlin, he runs, but plans to take his beloved with him are thwarted. The heroes stay in different countries and overcome incredible difficulties in order to meet.

“Mayak” (2019)

  • KinoPoisk: 7.1.
  • IMDb: 7,5.

Psychological thriller with elements of a horror movie. The plot is based on real cases when lighthouse keepers went crazy, as well as fiction and myths. The black and white image not only emphasizes the gloom of the scene. This format allowed the creators of the picture to play a lot with light and shadow, and experiments with sound made it even more unusual. The scenery is also impressive – for example, the life-sized lighthouse and the authentic clothing of sailors from the late 19th century.

Events take place in the 1890s. Ephraim Winslow gets a job as an assistant lighthouse keeper on a small deserted island. His new boss is an aged ex-sailor Thomas Wake. Men brighten up the dull everyday life with alcohol. Thomas tells many sea myths, and Ephraim eventually begins to see mermaids, the dead and monsters. In addition, it turns out that his predecessor was killed. Winslow suspects he was killed by an old man who is hiding something. After all, he categorically forbids going up to the lantern of the lighthouse and keeps it locked.

“Parasites” (2019)

  • KinoPoisk: 8.0.
  • IMDb: 8,6.

South Korean director Bong Joon Ho originally conceived the film in black and white, but the producers feared that it would not be successful because of this. However, when the box office surpassed all expectations, a black and white version was also released. Viewers and critics who compared both options opted for monochrome. What is really noticeable in him is that he stole the color from the painting. The image is deeper. You focus not only on the characters, but also on the smallest background details.

Laughter and tears, seasoned with a philosophical hint that the secret sooner or later becomes apparent – this is the story of a poor South Korean family with two children, huddled in a basement apartment. High school student Ki Woo aspires to go to university and for this he studies English for four years. A friend who worked in a wealthy family as a tutor comes to him, and in connection with the move offers to take his place. Having got a job, Key tricks up the dismissal of the former servants and gradually adds the whole family in the mansion. Everything would be fine, but chance intervened …

Mank (2020)

  • KinoPoisk: 7.1.
  • IMDb: 6,9.

A drama based on a true story. She largely reveals the undercover games of Hollywood and at the same time talks about courage and justice. Since the main action takes place in the 30s and is dedicated to cinematography, the black-and-white format takes the viewer into the past, as it were. There is an external resemblance to the paintings of those years. These are the then widely used camera angles from below, and deliberately aged frames, and a dull sound in mono. As a result, you get the impression of watching an old movie.

The plot tells the story of the work on the script for the film “Citizen Kane” in 1941. According to many, only Herman J. Mankiewicz wrote it. However, Orson Welles took half of the glory. He turned to Mankiewicz, suffering from alcoholism, and offered to work, on condition that the real author would not be mentioned. Herman agreed and made the main character look like the unprincipled media mogul William Hirst. Realizing that the result is a masterpiece, the screenwriter decided to step out of the shadows. In the end, I ended up between a rock and a hard place, but did not give up.

Malcolm and Marie (2021)

  • KinoPoisk: 7.2.
  • IMDb: 6,7.

There are only two actors in the film – a married couple played by rising stars John David Washington and Zendaya Marie Störmer Colem. This is quite enough, because thanks to their play, the viewer will not be bored. The plot and dialogues make you think and empathize. In addition, the excellent staging of mise-en-scenes and camera work pleases, and the monochrome greatly enhances the perception of what is happening. I can’t even imagine how this picture would look in color, but the impressions would clearly be completely different.

The script is based on a family scandal. At the beginning of the tape, you can see how the spouses love each other and experience happy moments. Malkom is a filmmaker who successfully made his debut film, the prototype of which was his wife Marie. However, at the premiere, he forgot to thank her. The spouse’s reproach upon arriving home leads to an exchange of mutual accusations and hurting words. During a quarrel, the characters are gradually revealed, and each allows you to look at their relationship from their side. At the same time, it hurts both, because love has not faded away.

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