Monday, September 14, 2015

Noir et Blanc

My quasi-annual viewing of Body Heat took place over Labor Day weekend. With a twist. Jill popped the dvd into the player and we settled back with a beverage to enjoy my favorite movie. But instead of showing up on the screen in its normal colorful mode, it was playing in black and white. Seriously weird. At first I wanted to meddle with the player and check all the connections and settings to restore the color, but after a few minutes of adjusting to it, and frankly, laziness, I decided to watch it as is. And something unexpected and interesting occurred. The dialog, nay, even the locale and characters were transformed and transported from their 1980's place and time back to their 1940's counterparts! Somehow draining the color from the film rendered Body Heat down to reflect and inhabit the movie era that inspired Lawrence Kasdan in the first place! The only thing that reminded me we were still in the latter part of the twentieth century were the modern cars and Bob Seeger blasting from Mickey Roarke's stereo. Ned Racine's law office, his apartment, the various bars and boardwalks, courtrooms and police station settings were all believable for forty years earlier! The men primarily in suits and Kathleen Turner's femme fatale dresses translated as well. Ned Racine's choice in jogging attire not so much. I would never have watched it in black and white but for this electronic device glitch, but it will be interesting to see on the occasion of future viewings if my adoration for this film is altered. Either way, you'll read about it here.

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