Summer Reading Challenge: Black & White Cinema: A Short History – Wheeler Winston Dixon

bwcinema

Black & White Cinema: A Short History – Wheeler Winston Dixon
Rutgers University Press, 2015
Paperback, 220 pages plus works cited, index
ISBN 9780813572413

“To shoot a film is to organize an entire universe.” – Ingmar Bergman

So here’s an entire book about a method of photographing movies that’s been largely unused and ignored for at least 50 years. No one shoots movies in black-and-white anymore and if you say, “Hey, wait a minute! Nebraska and The Artist were filmed in black-and-white,” you’re wrong. (They were filmed in color and desaturated to black-and-white. Read the book to find out more.) Even if you wanted to shoot a film in black-and-white, the film stock is scarce and costly. Color has ruled at the movies for decades. So why should you care about a book on black-and-white cinema?

Because that’s where the magic is.

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Underworld, U.S.A. (1961) Samuel Fuller

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Underworld, U.S.A. (1961)
Written, produced and directed by Samuel Fuller
Based on articles in The Saturday Evening Post 1956 by Joseph F. Dinneen
Cinematography by Hal Mohr
Filmstruck (1:39)

“We’ve got a right to climb out of the sewer and live like other people.”

The filmography of Samuel Fuller isn’t exactly a blind spot for me, but rather a blurry one. I have seen only five of Fuller’s films and although I’ve found them all interesting, I’m not quite sure what it is about his work that makes them so different and compelling. Maybe I’ll discover that as I’m exploring Underworld, U.S.A.

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