Thursday 20 February 2020

Parasite - The Black and White Version: I love black and white photography and was curious to see what would/could have been done on this particular facourite film of mine. 
I cannot exactly say I was enthralled by the experience. The colour version was already so masterful that watching it in black and white was more like an interesting parallel experience than anything. And I couldn't help trying to recall how it was in colour as I was watching it. As my friend Sean said in a post regarding the topic, if Bong had shot the film in black and white, he would certainly have shot it differently, as tones and details appear differently. I'm thinking of Charles Lang's magnificent black and white photography for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, where every single detail mattered. Even if filming in monochrome may now be technically different than in 1947, Parasite felt grey to me. Some scenes worked wonderfully to me, when others cried for colours. Perhaps there is a symbolism that escapes me. I recall a few terrific black and white films I saw recently: Cold War, the Lighthouse or Leto. The thought of colours never occured to me as I was watching them. 
Perhaps it would have been interesting to change certain things, whether the music or the sound design.
When Ash showed me the first monochrome version of The Third Wife, I felt the music didnt stand up well to the monochrome reworking, as colours were a component of the music, in a way. When later, she decided to make the film a silent one, it become imperative that a whole new score be written! However, silent films are another topic.
I recall another monochrome experience: Logan. I only saw the black and white version and found it beautiful. How would it have been, had I seen the colour one first?

That said, it is still a great experience to watch Paraside again in this new light.

Absolutely no regret!

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