Few movies have been as upfront with the use of symbolism as the 1998 film, American History X. A past of black and white against a present of color. Simplicity vs. Openness. Racism vs. Acceptance. Darkness vs. Brightness. With the widespread use of color that is placed throughout all our cinemas, highlighted on giant IMAX screens with 3D popping at our eyes, it is easy to forget the power that can be derived by using the most classic of cinematic techniques. You can transport people back to World War 2. Invest them in a world beyond imagination. Show them a man painted a freak by those who only see through a limited scope. Or just effectively use the limited resources you have available. While the world of bright colors may wow the eyes, the ability to effectively use black and white can own the mind. And for that I salute those directors that do so with such grace.
So, to beg the question - what are some of your favorite examples of modern films (for argument's sake I used 1980 as my 'base point') that use black and white to tell their tale?