The Colorization of Films and Photos. Good or Bad?

I remember the very first time I ever saw “Casablanca.” I rented it and was so excited to finally see one of the greatest movies ever made. A movie that has some of the most memorable and iconic lines ever (“Here’s looking at you kid.” “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” “Play it again.” – although technically, Ilsa never say’s “again,” she just says, “Play it Sam.”) I put the DVD in and started to watch. I was horrified to see that it was IN COLOR! It looked HORRIBLE. It was so distracting. It was kind of like watching moving water color images. Why in the world would anyone ever want to colorize “Casablanca?” (Ted Turner what were you thinking?) Nothing is gained from it. Ever since then I have never been a fan of colorized black and white movies. Every one I’ve seen has been awful.

So when I saw a tweet a few days ago from FStoppers about famous black and white photos that were colorized by Swedish artist Sanna Dullaway, I knew for sure I would hate them too. Then I saw them… Um. Wow. I was blown away.

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These actually look like the real deal. If I had not known the original photos were black and white, I wouldn’t have ever guessed the colorized ones weren’t the originals.

So, this begs the question: should these photos be colorized? Is anything gained from them being colorized? Some people say no. Others think the colorized versions are more powerful than the original black and white. I have a few thoughts about the issue which I’ll share tomorrow. Until then, tell me what you think in the comments, then take the poll.

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  1. When Should Movies Be Re-made? | Dare Dreamer Magazine - January 21, 2012

    [...] of this leads up to the question I posed yesterday about colorizing iconic black and white images. I say, if it’s for historical referencing, no [...]

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