One of the most celebrated periods of black and white cinematography came during the Second World War, when Germans fleeing Nazi Germany brought expressionist influences to Hollywood. One key filmmaker here was Fritz Lang
, whose films like Metropolis and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse are rightfully held among the masterpieces of the form.
It was in recognition of the power of the black and white that later filmmakers went back to it. One stand out example here is Woody Allen, who decided to shoot his film Manhattan in black and white, saying that that was how he saw New York. Later, Noah Baumbach would be inspired by Allen's vision to shoot his own movie of modern New York, Frances Ha
, in black and white.
Black and white film is constantly evolving, and Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012) shows the possibilites of the form today. A Portuguese independent drama, Tabu's title references F.W. Murnau's silent film "Tabu: a Story of the South Seas" (1931). Tabu competed at the Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Alfred Bauer Award. Gomes has said that his use of black and white was an attempt to portray a society wallowing in intense nostalgia and melodrama.