Broadcast News Directed by: James L. Brooks Written by: James L. Brooks (screenplay) Starring: Holly Hunter, Albert Brooks, William Hurt and Joan Cusack
From a modern perspective, this monologue by Albert Brooks in the last third of James L. Brooks’ Broadcast News is cringe-inducing, because it became true:
“What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he’s around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I’m semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing… he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance… Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen. And he’ll get all the great women. ”
For most of the movies’ existence, we’ve had the ability to show color. Nothing personifies the transition from black and white to color more than that immortal transition in The Wizard of the Oz, when the movies took the audience from the bleak colorlessness of everyday life into the beautiful colors of Victor Fleming’s adaptation.
It’s weird, then, that many modern directors’ greatest film making achievements are in black and white. One benefit of it, besides the beauty you can capture without color, is that it may be hard to tell which decade a movie came from. It can make a movie timeless, which is good when you’re talking about subjects like WWII and the Holocaust. To celebrate 100 posts, here is a look back at movie history at directors’ ventures into a world without any vivid color, and how it paid off for them.