Are Black and White Films Worth Watching?

What would your kids say if you told them you were going to watch a black-and-white movie together? Would they say old films are boring, or the acting is cheesy, or they look silly? There is a value to the old form of cinematic arts, and there’s still something for every movie-lover to embrace, even for teenagers and kids. Stephen Henderson has a conversation with Grosse Pointe South High School English and Film teacher, John Monaghan and Elliot Wilhelm; Curator of Film at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The conversation covers the historical value of black and white films, the differences between digital and 35mm and why it’s important for kids to take an interest in understanding the last 100 (and first 100) years of film. This weekend the Redford Theater is playing The Big Sleep and hosting a discussion about the film.

B&W: Preserving the art of Black and White films is not just for aesthetics, says Wilhelm. “Black and White films are a huge part of film’s history.”


Noir: John Monaghan will be curating a Film Noir festival this Fall at the Redford Theater. Monaghan says that films shown at the Redford are 1:1 experiences, “You are seeing a film at the Redford exactly how it was shown [originally],” Monaghan says.


35mm: Cinephiles like Monaghan and Wilhelm say that much like the effect of vinyl records on music. “There’s something about light being shown through celluloid… 35mm is a different medium than digital.” says Monaghan.

To hear more of Stephen’s conversation on film, 35mm film vs digital, and the upcoming films at the Redford, click the link above.

Image credit: WDET

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