Movies in Black and White

For my entire life I’ve been watching black and white films. I remember going to school as a young child and not relating to other kids because I didn’t watch what they did. I grew up on Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire moving pictures.

My absolute favorite movie growing up was The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin. It was the first “serious” movie I had ever experienced, it depicted real situations and the true misfortunes of that time. I was five when I first saw it and I still remember how I reacted that first time. It was that movie that fed my curiosity to watch and experience more movies to be exact.

The way that Chaplin made his films were always so captivating. He completely ignored the fourth wall standard, engaging the audience to feel like they’re also a part of the scene. Like he’s trying to talk to you, engage you into the scene. Every time he looked directly at the camera I felt like he wanted my reaction, and I gave one every time.

These movies weren’t the best on production, they didn’t last long on the market, and people forgot them all the time. These movies were a true statement from when they came from, a leisure activity that was to capture your attention for a short amount of time: fleeting.

Movies nowadays are very thrilling, but they don’t have the same charm as black and white movies had. They were simple, elegant, straight-forward. The story wasn’t always the best, the sets might be very cluttered; but they were beautiful in their own way. I never got along with my peers in my younger years, because I loved simple stories and they loved gutted out plots.

Even now, I’m in love with the black and white genre.

 

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4 thoughts on “Movies in Black and White

  1. JackieTran2: I enjoyed reading your post on Sunset Boulevard. I know exactly what mean about Charlie Chaplan, his ability to draw you in and engage with the film was a very rare and unique talent of his. There is a definite “charm” found in old time films, and that sort of aesthetic is often lacking from contemporary movies.

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  2. I completely agree that Charlie Chaplin has a certain charm to him. I’m not his biggest fan because I still like happy endings way too much and Charlie Chaplin doesn’t always cater to that. But while I was in high school, my orchestra teacher absolutely loved Charlie Chaplin and so we would watch them all the time. Despite the endings being a little unpredictable, I thoroughly enjoy the added element brought in from the time consuming coordination between the music and the action on screen. Truth be told, at some point, I wanted to be apart of the orchestra that plays for movie soundtracks. When I play a song, I sometimes don’t count (keep time) but rather feel the music and figure out when I’m supposed to come in. It sounds ridiculous and I get a lot of flak for it, but for all pieces, you really needed to “feel” it or it’s just boring elevator music! If you as the performer don’t feel it, your audience will not either. In addition to using crescendos and accents, Charlie Chaplin also adds his exaggerated at times ridiculous gestures and acting to invoke an emotional response.

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  3. I really enjoyed this post! I love that you have such a passion for black and white films. I enjoy them but to be honest I think I prefer color films. There are some black and white films that I really love though. My mom loves black and white so growing up there were some that I grew up falling in love with. Great post!

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  4. Although I don’t think you can speak of a “black and white genre”, I do understand why you love those movies so much. I also love the elegance of those films; everything feels fancy and beautiful. Generally, I do think we lost this sense of grace in more modern films, but I do think that also now, there is a lot out there that you might appreciate! I have no idea if you are in any way familiar with French cinema, but even now, French filmmakers are very skilled in making simple, honest movies with straightforward stories. Just like how you describe Chaplin “looking in your face”, French cinema, with their straightforward realism can also be very much “in your face” and confrontational. I would definitely recommend you to look into films like Amélie, Les Intouchables, La Vie D’Adele and much more if you haven’t already. Those are my favorite films and I think you might appreciate them!

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