While Tuesday’s DGA launch for “The Man Who Wasn’t There” was called a special screening, it had all earmarks of a classic preem: after-party, gift bag and filmmakers talking about the pic’s other classic element — being in black & white.
Star Billy Bob Thornton pointed to the ’40s noir films that “seem so sweaty and intense. It’s the black-and-white. There’s no distraction.”
Director Joel Coen said it’s difficult to get a studio to make a B&W pic and praised USA Films for giving it a shot.
“I don’t think audiences watching this movie are going to feel cheated because it’s in black and white,” Coen said.
USA topper Scott Greenstein said he went forward with the pic because “black and white in the hands of the Coen brothers and (cinematographer) Roger Deakins is a palette full of colors.”
Among those watching were stars Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco and Scarlett Johanssen; plus guests Brad Pitt, John Fogelman, Julie Delpy, Terry Barnes, Neil LaBute, Jim Berkus, Elliot Gould, James Woods, David Foster and Dwight Yoakam.