The Man Who Wasn't There in Colour

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by jake_fink, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    TMWWT, the Coen Bros. film noir riff set in 1949 was shot in colour then transferred to B/W. It is now available in France as a 3 disc collectors set including both the B/W and colour versions. Here is a link to some stills. I wish the poster of those stills had chosen a few more of Billy Bob's outfits, one of which was a nice shade of blue/baby blue.

    Check it out:

    The Man Who Wasn't There in color
     
  2. herringbonekid

    herringbonekid I'll Lock Up

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    i think the colour version looks better. it's so muted i wonder why they even bothered with the black and white version. turning a coloured image to black and white is rarely satisfactory and usually results in too much mid tone grey and not enough strong contrast.
     
  3. Mike Hammer

    Mike Hammer New in Town

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    Not to mention the lighting techniques for B&W and color are completely different. What works for one does not work for the other, which is why the colorized versions of original B&W look odd.
     
  4. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    I just watched this again - in B/W - and it looked great. I haven't seen it in colour yet, so I don't know which looks better, but the B/W works very well.

    [​IMG]

    The costume in The Adventures of Captain Marvel was made gray instead of red because in B/W the red looked muddy, and Hitchcock, famously, used chocolate syrup for blood in the shower scene in order to get a good, shocking, contrasty "red" agains the white porcelain; so, knowing that a film is to be made in B/W filmakers often make adjustments to the palette in order to help the final image. Maybe that is why the colour version of this looks "so muted," as a way of setting-up the B/W images.

    Colourized films look awful because the colours never seem to stay where they should be and the whole screen ends up looking like a messy swirl of tie-dye.
     
  5. Badluck Brody

    Badluck Brody Practically Family

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    ...

    I would not only love to see it in color, but also on the big or even large screen!
     
  6. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I also remember reading that a lot of the outfits worn on screen in 30s / 40s classics were hideous in real life as they were assembled to look good in B&W but didn't always look so great in living technicolour. I believe too the ladies often wore blue lipstick? (and all those 80s New Romantic kids thought they had the idea first.... lol ). I'd love to see colour production stills from a lot of the classics to see the difference in how they worked.

    Incidently..... for those of you familiar with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the original plan there was that the film would be in B&W up until the memorable moment during Sweet Transvestite when Dr Frank N Furter throws off his cloak: at that point it would dissolve into colour. The intention was a nod towards The Wizard of Oz, of course. In the end, the story they tell is that the studio refused to cover the budget for different film stocks, so they had to abandon the idea (though you can get some idea from the DVD - an Easter egg allows you to watch it in B&W, then it goes colour midway through Time Warp when they enter the ballroom set. The whole ballroom set (and all preceeding) was specifically designed to work in B&W.

    I remember seeing The Man Who... in the cinema. Great film, really worked in B&W. I'd be curious to see it in colour to see how it compares as an experience. I imagine those who remember the Golden Age look at it differently, but having grown up much later on and with in the main black and white images and films from the period, somehow a contemporary B&W film set in that period always has a more immediate period feel to me. Am I alone in this?
     
  7. Spiffy

    Spiffy A-List Customer

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    Is there any truth to the rumor that It's a Wonderful Life is being re-released in color?
     

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