Movie Fact #321 - March 8th, 2022

 

The 1963 film Hud was acclaimed for many reasons but one of it's distinctions was cinematographer James Wong Howe's decision to shoot the film in black-and-white to "elevate its dramatic propensities". Using high contrast with unbalanced light and dark tones, he highlighted the white ground and clear skies, making the shadows black while the dark tones were "overpowered" by light ones, creating a sense of "infinite space". For faces and structures, Howe used light reflected from the ground. The contrast between the environment and objects silhouetted against the background provides a sense of depth. Carlton Jackson, biographer of the film's director Martin Ritt, wrote that in Hud "the scenery becomes a part of the thematic development itself". According to an issue of Texas Monthly, "Howe's austere rendition of Texas landscapes [...] remains one of the film's most distinctive pleasures". Stay tuned!

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