There is a certain nostalgia about black and white film, something both eerie and strangely seductive, as if seeing through a tiny frosted window into the past.
Black and white film and photography has a timeless quality; classical and artistic in its appeal. Nowadays, with HD resolution and colour that erupts from the screen with crystalline quality, we may be disinclined to watch anything but the latest releases which compliment cutting edge technology.
However, if you do take time to venture back into the annals of motion picture history, you will experience a sense of cinematic magic; encapsulated within the grainy, black and white reels. You will be transported to a bygone era, in a way that modern day movies will never be able to reconstruct.
Watch the trailer to these four black and white classics, not all old, but all of them capturing a moment in movie history.
Regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made, The Apartment was released in 1960 and despite it's rather risque subject matter received widespread acclaim.
This is the odd one out here, having been released in 2011; however, this silent, black and white movie depicts the time in movie history when films began to have sound. This key development within film production is also the crux of the narrative.
It Happened One Night
This film, released in 1934, is the first of only three films to win five major Academy Awards, dubbed the "Big Five". It is iconic in American movie history, with references made in today's popular culture. One notable example, is in the film Sex and the City 2, where Carrie is inspired by the hitch hiking scene (see video) as a way to catch a taxi in the Middle East.
This contribution to American film noir, depicts a woman who murders and commits adultery in the lead role. Interesting to watch, especially from the viewpoint of a feminist.