By MICHAEL GINGOLD
The new film is in the noir tradition, and the original 1947 ALLEY was in black and white, so this makes a lot of sense.
Variety reports that director/co-writer Guillermo del Toro has prepared a special black-and-white version of NIGHTMARE ALLEY, his period thriller that opens today (see our review here). As of now, this edition is set for a limited run in Los Angeles theaters (details below), though one imagines it’s likely to also appear on future Blu-ray and other home releases.
“Although we shot NIGHTMARE ALLEY in color, we lit it as if it were black and white,” del Toro says. “You can see exactly the same level of design, and we wanted to give viewers this special vantage as a take of the classic noir genre that the film is part of.” Adds cinematographer Dan Laustsen, “When we designed and shot, we were always thinking color and black and white. The classic lighting I have used is an homage to all the incredible masters of cinematography who have inspired me.”
The monochromatic NIGHTMARE ALLEY will screen at LA’s New Beverly Cinema January 15-16, AMC’s The Grove January 14-20, The Landmark January 14-20 and The Los Feliz Theater, American Cinematheque January 21-23. It follows in the tradition of past releases such as the black-and-white version of Bong Joon-ho’s PARASITE from last year, George Miller’s “Black and Chrome” edition of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and a black-and-white variation of Frank Darabont’s THE MIST that was issued on disc.