The timelessness of black-and-white is not just about the setting of the film, but the experience of the filmmaking itself. Color dates a film, from the Technicolor look of the mid-century to the muted, gauziness of the 1970s or the steely gray-blues of the late ‘90s. But if you didn’t know the ages of the performers, could you really say when “Raging Bull” or “Good Night and Good Luck” were made?
After 2022’s glut of black-and-white films, the trend will likely subside. New fads will emerge. But black-and-white has proven over the last 50 years that it will never go away. Its cultural associations — with nostalgia and realism, may shift over time, but one thing will never change: It’s just beautiful.