METROPOLIS at the top of 100 BLACK & WHITE FILMS, 2015’s year-end list from CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT FILM
Every year the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film selects a category and asks its membership to submit their favorite top films. The group’s previous year-end topics have included Best Musicals, Best Sequels and Remakes, and Best Foreign Language. For 2015, members selected their top black & white films.
Members were given a general definition to frame the parameters of their list: there was no further direction concerning when or how the films were made, which led to spirited arguments about whether or not films made when full color was not an option ought to be compared against newer films.
As a consequence, this year’s category inspired a great deal of conversation, research and debate. The final 100 films selected come from 17 countries, with the US/non-US split almost even at 52 to 48%. The decades most heavily represented are the 50’s, 60’s and 40’s, not surprisingly – however, there are 13 films from the 21st century, a significant upward trend from the late 1990’s. In fact one of the most recent films, THE ARTIST from 2011, cracked the top ten!
Thirteen filmmakers scored multiple films on the list, with the top two filmmakers represented with five films each. Billy Wilder was one of the filmmakers represented five times, with three films, THE APARTMENT, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, and SOME LIKE IT HOT all appearing in the Top 10, at #'s 5, 6, and 7 respectively. Famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa also had five films featured on the list, with SEVEN SAMURAI coming it highest at #10. Other directors with multiple films include Alfred Hitchcock and Federico Fellini with four apiece, Orson Welles, Guy Maddin, Ingmar Bergman, and Howard Hawks were each represented three times, and with two apiece were Fritz Lang ( who also scored the top film on the list: METROPOLIS), David Lynch, Elia Kazan, F. W. Murnau, and Michelangelo Antonioni. Only two women were represented with black & white films, those being Agnes Varda, and Ana Lily Armipour, with the most recent film to appear, 2014's A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT.
In this spirit of rediscovering the cinematic artistry of black and white film, and in the hopes of encouraging others to consider (and argue about) what would be at the top of their own lists, the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film presents:
Click the link to see the list of the 100 best black & white Films.