Akira Kurosawa: There’s something to be said for black and white, and I harbor the hope of returning to it some day. A black and white film has a special quality. It’s difficult to describe, but that quality is still very much alive for me today. — 1991
Andrei Tarkovsky: I love black and white cinema; I feel as if I discovered it. Audiences are supposed to prefer color films, but I believe that color is much less realistic than black and white. We don’t normally notice color, except in the cinema where it’s somehow exaggerated. So the most ‘real’ images on film are in monochrome… For me, black and white has an unforgettable and highly expressive quality, and I will continue to make films that include a lot of black and white. — 1981
David Lynch: Black and white does have the ability to take you into a world that’s different, be it in the past as in The Elephant Man or in a parallel world as in Eraserhead. Sometimes with color it’s just too real and can’t take you there so easily and it makes things more pure. You can see eyes and ears in a totally different way, so you really see them. You see shadows and contrasts and shapes because those are the things you end up working with. You don’t see such a real picture which you glance over without a second thought. In black and white you really start to see things. It seems to make things in a way more powerful—it’s removing you from reality. — 1985
Béla Tarr: I love black and white. When you see a black-and-white picture, you know immediately it is not a realistic picture. It is not reality ‘one to one,’ because something is somehow transformed. On the other hand, I can hide a lot of things in the blackness, and I can picture white light for something which is important. I can use the whole gray scale. — 2012
Ingmar Bergman: In black and white, you have that wonderful chance to create, and have the audience to create together with you… I would like most of all if it would be possible to work in black and white, because I think black and white is the most beautiful color that exists for our minds, for our creative minds. We are involved in the creative process when we are looking at a black and white picture. — 1981
“There was only one Saul Bass. He was a gentleman, a brilliant raconteur, a marvelous collaborator and, as I’ve said before, a truly great artist. And – let’s be honest – a giant.”
— Martin Scorsese
“Saul Bass wasn’t just an artist who contributed to the first several minutes of some of the greatest movies in history; in my opinion his body of work qualifies him as one of the best film makers of this, or any other time.”
— Steven Spielberg
“Bass fashioned title sequences into an art, creating in some cases, like Vertigo, a mini-film within a film. His graphic compositions in movement function as a prologue to the movie – setting the tone, providing the mood and foreshadowing the action.”
— Martin Scorsese
It had been a wonderful evening and what I needed now, to give it the perfect ending, was a little of the Ludwig Van.
Pre-Code Hollywood refers to the era in the American film industry between the introduction of sound in the late 1920s and the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code (usually labeled, albeit inaccurately after 1934, as the “Hays Code”) censorship guidelines. Although the Code was adopted in 1930, oversight was poor and it did not become rigorously enforced until July 1, 1934. Before that date, movie content was restricted more by local laws, negotiations between the Studio Relations Committee (SRC) and the major studios, and popular opinion than strict adherence to the Hays Code, which was often ignored by Hollywood filmmakers.
As a result, films in the late 1920s and early 1930s included sexual innuendo, miscegenation, profanity, illegal drug use, promiscuity, prostitution, infidelity, abortion, intense violence and homosexuality.
“This shot is the most expensive shot in silent film history. It was filmed in a single take, that had to be perfect, with a real train and a ‘dummy’ engineer (notice the white arm hanging out the conductors window). Some of the locals who came to watch the filming, thought the dummy was a real person and screamed in horror; supposedly, one person even fainted.”