Masterful Monochrome Movies

Vince Orozco, Managing Editor

The Apartment

Comically absurd situations, tragic characters and excellent direction — what’s not to love? Well if any of these aspects interest you then you will most certainly love “The Apartment.” The film follows a corporate paper pusher named C.C. “Bud” Baxter who lends out his apartment to upper management men looking for a place to have an affair. All of this is done with the goal of moving on up in the corporate ladder, even as the requests get more ridiculous and humiliating. This dramedy is the perfect movie for those looking for a laugh and a heartfelt story.

The Seventh Seal

“I want knowledge! Not faith, not assumptions, but knowledge. I want God to stretch out His hand, uncover His face and speak to me.” This quote from the disillusioned knight Antonius Block perfectly captures the existential dread and sense of abandonment portrayed by Ingmar Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal.” The story follows a veteran from the crusades, Antonius Block, who encounters Death and challenges him to a game of chess in order to keep his life. This masterwork on the ponderance of life and death is the perfect film for those seeking something thought-provoking on a Saturday night.

Seven Samurai

A three-hour epic set in 1586, “Seven Samurai” is the magnum opus of director Akira Kurosawa. The film follows a farming village who seek the help of samurai in an attempt to prevent a raid by nearby bandits. This movie is simply a masterpiece and is cited as one of the greatest movies ever made. In addition to its acclaimed status, movies such as this and others of Kurosawa’s filmography are often cited as the inspiration for the spaghetti westerns of director Sergio Leone and others. Any fan of samurai or movies is doing themselves a disservice by not seeing this film.

Rome, Open City

In the wake of World War II, many Italian moviegoers wanted to escape the brutal reality that they had experienced under Fascist Italy. However, director Roberto Rossellini did not satisfy this desire; rather, he did the exact opposite. The story of Rome, Open City involves a Communist resistance leader Giorgio Manfredi trying to evade the tenacious Gestapo. As the father of the Italian Neorealist movement, Rossellini utilized amateur actors and simple camera work. These techniques allow “Rome, Open City” to exemplify a breath of fresh air when compared to the studio cash grab films of the previous decades. Overall, the film is a gripping tale of hardship and hope that earns its place within the film canon.