Read e-book online Black and White Cinema: A Short History PDF

By Wheeler Winston Dixon

From the sleek monochrome of the vintage Hollywood romance, to the gritty greyscale of the gangster photo, to movie noir’s moody interaction of sunshine and shadow, black-and-white cinematography has been used to create a remarkably wide variety of tones. but this present day, with black-and-white movie inventory approximately most unlikely to discover, those cinematographic innovations are nearly extinct, and filmgoers’ appreciation of them is in a similar way waning.  
 
Black and White Cinema is the 1st research to contemplate using black-and-white as an artwork shape in its personal correct, delivering a complete and worldwide review of the period while it flourished, from the 1900s to the Nineteen Sixties. Acclaimed movie pupil Wheeler Winston Dixon introduces us to the masters of this artwork, discussing the signature types and technical options of award-winning cinematographers like James Wong Howe, Gregg Toland, Freddie Francis, and Sven Nykvist. Giving us a special glimpse backstage, Dixon additionally finds the inventive teams—from lighting fixtures technicians to matte painters—whose paintings profoundly formed the glance of black-and-white cinema.  
 
greater than only a research of movie heritage, this publication is a rallying cry, intended to motivate a love for the artistry of black-and-white movie, in order that we would paintings to maintain this crucial a part of our cinematic background. Lavishly illustrated with greater than 40 on-the-set stills, Black and White Cinema provides a shiny and illuminating examine a creatively important era.
 

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Extra info for Black and White Cinema: A Short History

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As Gregory W. ” He then hit upon the idea of creating a film that transferred wartime into peacetime encounters, adding that “objectively life is like a battle. ” The Crowd was one of the most technically advanced and thematically bold American films of the decade. Ultimately, Vidor’s image of man in mass society, while realistic in contrast to most of the films of the 1920s, manifests a narrowly drawn and cynical psychological portrait derivative of earlier crowd associations. (227) As photographed by Henry Sharp (who also shot such disparate films as Leo McCarey’s Duck Soup [1933] and Fritz Lang’s Ministry of Fear [1944]), The Crowd is perhaps one of the most visually “plastic” films ever 16 H Black & White Cinema made, using, as with Abel Gance’s Napoleon (1927), nearly every visual device in the cameraman’s arsenal to depict the life of an ordinary man and woman as they cope with the depersonalization and forced anonymity of everyday life.

Now [All Quiet] was at least 50 percent exterior war stuff so my camera could easily handle it. We also shot the battle stuff silent.  . Sometimes on the interior scenes when the camera moved in close I placed a big piece of plate glass between it and the actors so there were no big problems with camera noise. (Mitchell 38) The film also allowed Edeson to show off his stylistic versatility. As George J. Mitchell astutely notes, Edeson treated the passage of day-to-night and [back-to-day] with a subtle but realistic lighting style.

The film is significant for its German Expressionistic stylings, but here Edeson also embraced the artistic tenets of 24 H Black & White Cinema tenebrism, which uses extremely deep shadows throughout the frame and offers sharp contrast between illuminated areas and the darkness surrounding them. The style is often employed in conjunction with a chiaroscuro approach to lighting, composition, and framing, which keeps much of the image area immersed in darkness and typically employs a single source of light to illuminate the scene — two techniques that would become immensely popular in the era of film noir in the 1940s.

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