Milwaukee Wave

Black and white lights up screens in 'Frances Ha,' 'Nebraska'

Black and white lights up screens in 'Frances Ha,' 'Nebraska'

When Hollywood began transitioning from black-and-white films in the early 1960s, the director Vincente Minnelli had a simple, dismissive reply to those who questioned the shift. "Color," he said, "can do anything that black-and-white can."

A half-century later, a significant group of filmmakers begs to differ.

Don't look now, but the black-and-white movie is making a comeback. Long after the form fell out of vogue — and in an era when many big-budget studio films pack the screen with saturated candy colors and in-your-face 3-D effects — indie filmmakers and even the occasional studio-movie veteran are turning to the monochromatic.