black & white movies: emma’s recommendations

A new addition to my blog is something that I do on pretty much a daily basis — recommendations! (recoemmadations???)

I am constantly trying to get my friends to watch my favourite movies, and read my favourite books — so, I decided to start doing something along those lines here! For my first recommendation list I am going to be talking about some films, but to be more specific, films in black and white.

To most, a B&W film means an old film, which is partially right because most b&w films are old ( The Wizard of Oz was one of the first films presented in technicolour! do you know that?) Although, there are actually many modern films that are in black and white. I personally love the use of black and white in movies, I find that it adds another layer to the overall story and how it is thus conveyed. So in this list I will be recommending a combination of old & new films that utilize the absence of colour.

first — we’ll start with the older films:

Citizen Kane (1941)

this first film is one many people have claimed to be the best film of all time. Now, I’m not exactly sure if that is true, but this is most definitely one of the best movies I have ever seen. It was one of the films we watched in my cinema class last semester, and while I’m sure it won’t be of interest to many people, I really think it is a movie everyone should watch at least once in their life. It tells the life of a recently deceased ‘newspaper tycoon’ — and is the basis for a lot of modern storytelling we see these days.

Cléo de 5 à 7 (1961)

Another film deemed as a classic to many is Cléo de 5 à 7. Much like Citizen Kane, this was a movie I had to watch in my cinema class last semester. It is a very beautiful as well as ~artsy~ film, following a famous singer as she “lives her life” in the hours before she finds out out whether or not she has cancer. There are also some very cute kittens!!!

Alright, now that those oldies (but goldies) are out of the way — here are some more recent black and white films. As well as some ‘wildcards’ that I have added at the end.

Frances Ha (2013)

While this is not only a wonderful film in black & white, it is also a wonderful film. Starring none other then national treasure (& academy award nominated director!!) Greta Gerwig — it follows (you guessed it) Frances — an apprentice of a dance company, despite her not really being a dancer, while she lives in New York City. A seemingly beautiful film, which contains one of my favourite movie scenes of all time (Greta Gerwig dancing and twirling through the streets of NYC to a soundtrack of David Bowie).

Roma (2018)

Another more recent movie, as well as probably more well known. This bad boy was one of the most nominated films at this past year’s Academy Awards (10 nominations!) — and took home 3 golden statues. In my opinion this movie deserved to win best picture — being incredibly beautiful for so many reasons, one of those being the b&w colour palette. Following the life of Cleo, a young domestic worker for a family in middle-class Mexico, as they all struggle and stride in their own ways. This one is also very easily accessible as it is on Netflix — so please (I’m begging you!) watch it

Cold War(2018)

Another recently Oscar nominated film is Cold War. This is one of the most beautiful movies I watched in this past year. Following a man and a woman in post-war Poland as they tread their way through the trails and tribulations of love. Like I said, this film is very beautiful, and while I thought wow i wish this was in colour, I actually realized that I didn’t want that & that the black and white ‘colour’ was one of the most beautiful aspects of the whole film. This one is also slightly more accessible, as it will be available on Amazon Prime Video very soon!


The Shape of Water (2017)

Okay, I know what you’re thinking… Emma! The Shape of Water isn’t in black and white! and yes, you are correct. This film is NOT in black and white, but, I decided to throw it in here (a bit of a wildcard if you will) because technically there is a short scene in black and white!!! And Guillermo del Toro (the director), even said that there was plans to have the entire film in black and white. This is more of a popular film, especially seeing as it won best picture at last year’s academy awards.

Another not really black and white film is Logan (2017) it’s not actually in black and white, although there was a semi wide-released black & white version (Logan Noir) and all in all it is a very good film…

So there you have it! a good mix of some very beautiful films all being void of colour. Along with some that aren’t technically black and white — but I mean I always love a loophole that gives me a chance to recommend my favourite movies! I really hope this encouraged some people to step out of their comfort zones and watch some new and different movies.

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