Friday, December 24, 2010

I must be a traditionalist?

Two of my favourite movies at any time of year, but particularly at Christmas, are Scrooge with Alastair Sim (the definitive version IMO, with only Scrooged coming close) and It's a Wonderful Life. Both in black and white as they were intended originally. So what happens this year? The TV is showing colourised versions of them! No, no, no, no, no! That is wrong on so many levels! Almost as bad as "dogs and cats living together".

Now it's entirely likely that if colour film had existed when both movies were made then the directors would have chosen it and those movies would likely look and feel different to their colourised cousins. But the fact is that it wasn't and the film director's, writers etc. used the black and white medium to great effect. It's part of the atmosphere of the movies and is so ingrained in the making of them that when you watch you don't notice it's not in colour. And when you see it in colour today it's just wrong. Almost like watching a program or film based on something that was intended originally for radio. The act of moving it from one medium to another alters it, but rarely do the people involved in that alteration seem to understand that or take it into account.

Colourising films is a great example of the adage that "just because you can do something doesn't mean you should"! So if you have a choice between seeing the above two movies in colour or black and white, I recommend sticking with the original. You won't be disappointed.


Len DiMaggio said...

And - happily - the entire Alastair Sim film is on YouTube this year:

Is that Patrick McNee as a young Marley? ;-)

Buon Natale!

Mark Little said...

I believe it is ...

Have a merry Christmas Len. And pass on my best wishes to your family and the entire QE team!