The first article I have published this year on this site was about a contemporary black-and-white Hungarian film Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), with the title “A Mortal God”. In this article, I explored the apocalyptic symbolism behind a decaying whale, and the pessimist philosophy of cosmic proportions presented in the film. Later, another article about a black-and-white European film, this time by an Austrian director Michael Haneke, was published: “Iniquities of the Fathers”, about the film 2009 The White Ribbon. My initial idea was not to write mainly on black-and-white European cinema this month, and when I chose to write about these two films the cinematography was not the main reason behind choosing them.
Nevertheless, since January is a winter month, characterized by a certain melancholy – the holidays have passed, it is cold outside and the night falls early in the evening, at least in the part of Europe where I’m from, it seems kind of fitting to write about black-and-white cinema, and I am happy to share with you my knowledge and understanding of these great films. Melancholy of these films can fit in easily with our own, and perhaps give it a more sublime character. Majority of the films I wrote about, and will write about, are from the 21th century, and this is interesting, since some directors like Haneke and Tarr have chosen black-and-white cinematography to express themselves with a reason. I hope you’ll enjoy these articles, and appreciate the thematic framework I chose for this month, for me, it seems fitting for January.
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