Love, Robert Indiana, Central Park c. 1971.
Is black-and-white back?
This year has seen so many black-and-white films, it’s like the old technique has become a new trend. “The reality of making a black-and-white film,” says Greta Gerwig, the star and co-writer of Frances Ha, “is that someone might buy it to distribute it after it was made, but no one would go tell you to make a black-and-white movie with their money.”
In the Fresh Air interview with Noah Baumbach (the director of Frances Ha) he talked about his choice to film in black and white:
Shooting [in black and white] in New York helped me … see the city with new eyes, I think. Also there was something about black and white that makes the movie almost immediately nostalgic.
"It’s a very contemporary story, and Frances is such a contemporary character. … [Y]ou never know [when you reach] that moment when [something is] over, and I think that black and white in some ways sort of underscores that. It adds this sort of sense of past to something that’s happening very much in the present."
There’s a tension between the crabbed characters and the expansive wide frames, heavy on farmland iconography and cows and puffy clouds, shot by Phedon Papamichael in crisp and gorgeous black and white.
Yesterday Terry spoke to the film’s star, Bruce Dern (left). Dern said he took his hearing aids out to play Woody, to help him feel more “spacy” and “out there.”
Your afternoon photo break:
Young man reading on Venice canal, 1963.
Photo by André Kertész from his On Reading series.