Doctoral Thesis: “Between Black and White - For a Monochromatic Aesthetic of Cinema After Technicolor”

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English
Type: 
Master, Doctorate and Post-Doctorate
Main researcher: 
Jaime Neves
Abstract: 

Over time technological evolution has dictated profound changes in the art of making films. The appearance of sound and later colour was revolutionary and caused profound impacts. At present the three dimensions dictate new directions.
Whilst sound allowed viewers to live in a new and desired environment, ending the silent films which were not very alluring, the appearance of colour caused no break. There continues to be a strong and consistent monochrome production.
But can black and white film continue to resist the strong technological seduction and fierce persuasive capacity of producers who always see in innovations a strong perspective of profit? Is the more or less generalised argument, that black and white is “purer” and more real, enough to maintain and even increase the monochrome aesthetic? And is black and white effectively a credible aesthetic or rather a facile device to captivate and provoke an unwary audience? “Between black and white – For a monochromatic aesthetic of cinema after technicolor” will question and reflect on the questions raised by producing an audiovisual documentary.

Objectives: 

In this investigation project we aim to obtain answers and above all reflect on various issues related with the theme of monochromatic aesthetics in films.
In this context this doctoral thesis will answer the following questions:

  • How to explain that black and white films are still being made? Until 1933 black and white was a technical imposition / limitation. After that date films began using colour but the fact is that monochromatic production has not slowed down, indeed it has increased. Why?
  • What is the significance of so many directors still rejecting colour? What leads them to continue wanting to film in black and white?
  • What need is there for many directors to intersperse their filmography with colour and black and white films?
  • What is the role of cinema producers in the decision / choice to film in black and white?
  • How is the choice of colour / black and white influenced by the world of television?
  • How does the public see a black and white film?
  • What effective role do film festivals specialised in black and white film have on the dissemination, promotion and awareness-raising of black and white films with the public?
  • Can the current situation of 3D cinema stimulate or obscure black and white production?
Activities: 

Start date – End date:
 September 2010 – September 2014

State: 
Ongoing
Research group: 
Visual and Interactive Art
Summary: 

Over time technological evolution has dictated profound changes in the art of making films. The appearance of sound and later colour was revolutionary and caused profound impacts. At present the three dimensions dictate new directions. Whilst sound allowed viewers to live in a new and desired environment, ending the silent films which were not very alluring, the appearance of colour caused no break. There continues to be a strong and consistent monochrome production.
09/2010 to 09/2014