Epix to Show the Color Version of NEBRASKA that Director Alexander Payne Wanted Buried

by     Posted 134 days ago

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Nebraska was one of my favorite films last year, and one of the reasons is the striking black-and-white cinematography.  Aside from it just being straight-up gorgeous, it also helps put us in the mindset of a part of the country’s that been left behind.  It’s a colorless world, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful.  However, some people can’t stand black-and-white movies, and those people apparently live overseas, so director Alexander Payne was obligated to make a color version that he thought would only be seen in small markets like Moldova, Sierra Leone and Laos.  He thought wrong, and was surprised as anyone to find out that the color version will be airing in the U.S. on Sunday.

Hit the jump for more.

nebraska-bruce-dernThompson on Hollywood discovered that the premium channel Epix is airing TV spots with the following copy:

“Nominated for six Academy awards, including Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Cinematography, experience Alexander Payne’s masterful black and white vision, and for the first time, Epix brings you the full color version for a limited time showing. See Nebraska in two totally different states. Sunday at 8 p.m., followed by the world premiere of the color version, exclusively on Epix. We get big movies.”

Co-producer Albert Berger told TOH that he didn’t know Epix was going to air the color version, and neither did Payne.  In fact, “their contract with Paramount — which financed and released the film — precluded most major showings, including theatrical and DVD/Blu-Ray – from being anything other than the black-and-white original version.”

Berger also notes that even though this color version was only supposed to be shown to smaller foreign markets, Payne “did personally supervise the post-production of the color version despite hoping it never would be seen.”  The sets, costumes, etc. were designed with black-and-white cinematography in mind.  Payne’s post-production for a color version meant the film had to be reprocessed digitally to make it look better than if it had been untouched (to be clear: this isn’t the same thing as the awful “colorized” version Ted Turner and others have attempted to do with older movies).  I have to give the director credit for taking the time to make sure the color version looked its best even though he never wanted people to look at that version.

Nebraska is a movie filled with wonderful performances, an insightful script, and a lot of heart.  I can’t help but wonder how all of that comes through when put through a color prism.  If anyone watches the version that airs on Epix, let us know.




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  • Pernell Whitaker

    Good move.

    • Blind_Boy_Grunt_1235

      Ironic avatar.

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Why?

      • Pernell Whitaker

        Why?

  • Pernell Whitaker

    Good move.

  • Ted

    can someone explain to me if the black-white look of Nebraska has any “meaning” or it was just a gimmick?

    • Vulcan

      Well it’s more of a emotional, psychological, and nostalgic meaning. It represents the parts of America that are “stuck in time,” and the people that are “stuck in time.” While East and West Coasts are modern and futuristic, there are still places and people in the mid-west that refuse to modernize, or are not given the chance to. Without the black and white, the movie will loose it’s emotion and themes.

      • Ted

        thank you

      • Ted

        thank you

      • http://mattedscreen.blogspot.com/ TheMattedScreen

        also – it looks friggen beautiful in Black and White.

      • Vulcan

        that it does, that it does.

  • Barreta

    thank god, now i can see the movie. i hate anything with black and white, its so boring and just a gimmic to make it seem deeper like the artist. and those old black and white “classics” are shit too. color is the only thing people want to see.

    • appolox

      *facepalm*

    • varagor

      Can you explain why you hate black and white so much? It’s just an artistic choice. It’s not like there aren’t a million completely different ways to make a film in color as well. Just compare the colors in a movie by Michael Bay, a movie by Guillermo Del Toro and a movie by David Fincher. Sure, they’e all in color, but the color schemes couldn’t be more different.

    • lord jim

      wow, you are really dumb my friend!

    • lord jim

      wow, you are really dumb my friend!

    • milo

      My guess is trolling/satire/sarcasm although it’s really hard to tell.

    • Blind_Boy_Grunt_1235

      With a sense of taste that bad, at least you’ll never have a weight problem.

  • Person

    Color or not, this was still one of the most overrated movies of 2013, coming from arguably the most overrated American director. I love B&W, but there was absolutely no reason for this movie to be made that way, just like there was no reason for it to be nominated for Best Picture, Director, and (gasp!) Actor.

    • Redemption

      Sadly, I agree. I thought The Descendants was decent but not worth the acclaim it got. And I thought The Descendants was way better than Nebraska. I dont find his films as funny or clever as critics do, but thats just me.

  • World’s Finest Comments

    Honestly, I thought Nebraska way Payne’s weakest film. 2 hours of him telling us how much he hates mid-westerners.

    • http://mattedscreen.blogspot.com/ TheMattedScreen

      ? are you sure you saw the right movie? Where/how does he ever say that. If that was ever his message it was in About Schmidt – not this movie.

      • World’s Finest Comments

        He said it with the multiple stereotypes he has in the film…

      • http://mattedscreen.blogspot.com/ TheMattedScreen

        Like the stereotypes that New Yorkers are rude or people in L.A. are aloof and self absorbed?

    • varagor

      I’m pretty sure he loves his main characters at the very least.

    • varagor

      I’m pretty sure he loves his main characters at the very least.

  • Art Vandelay

    What’s next? Frances Ha in colour too?

    • computerbenefit

      You’re saying that like Frances Ha was an instant classic.

  • Art Vandelay

    What’s next? Frances Ha in colour too?

  • http://3i.tumblr.com/ 3i

    Waiting for the long lost color version of Young Frankenstein.

  • http://3i.tumblr.com/ 3i

    Waiting for the long lost color version of Young Frankenstein.

  • jet

    I think Epix needs all the hype it could get, no one even gets that channel.

    • Vulcan

      yeah, I have never heard of it, but I only have basic cable and netflix.

  • frankzubek

    I liked it and didn’t mind the black and white at all. I’m still waiting for a TV series to be produced in black and white. But then…the people in charge would never let that happen as they are too afraid the backlash from a few dozen viewers who would complain that they paid good money for a full color HD TV and fully expect EVERYTHING they watch to be in color might cost them their job. And unfortunately it’s a legitimate fear. Oh, well…..the mind just boggles at the lack of acceptance of creative experimentation in some parts of this planet. For those interested….I found this link to a number of black and white films http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_black-and-white_films_produced_since_1970

  • frankzubek

    One more thing- Its sad the director wasn’t able to fully control the color issue but I AM glad he was finally able to get it filmed and I’m glad I watched it.

  • marrowbonez

    They should show Schindler’s List in color and make it so the little girl is always shown in black and white.

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