I picked up the September/October issue of Film Comment, which was still available at my local Barnes and Noble, and found inside an intriguing list: the Best Black and White Films Since 1970, presumably chosen by the Film Comment staff. Herewith:
1. The Mother and the Whore, Jean Eustacio (1973)
2. Eraserhead, David Lynch (1977)
3. Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese (1980)
4. Satantango, Bela Tarr (1994)
5. Dead Man, Jim Jarmusch (1995)
6. Killer of Sheep, Charles Burnett (1977)
7. Veronika Voss, Rainer Werner Fassbender (1982)
8. Sicilia! Daniele Huiller & Jean-Marie Straub (1999)
9. Stranger Than Paradise, Jim Jarmusch (1984)
10. Ed Wood, Tim Burton (1994)
11. Regular Lovers, Philippe Garrel (2005)
12. The Wild Child, Francois Truffaut (1970)
13. The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (1979)
14. in girum imus nocte et consummimur igni, Guy Debord (1978)
15. Effi Briest, Rainer Werner Fassbender (1974)
16. La Commune (Paris, 1871) Peter Watkins (2000)
17. Manhattan, Woody Allen (1979)
18. Khroustaliov, My Car! Alexis German (1998)
19. Je tu il elle, Chantal Akerman (1976)
20. The Man Who Left His Will on Film, Nagisa Oshima (1970)
I have seen six of these films, numbers 3, 6, 7 (I think–I saw a lot of Fassbender in college and am pretty sure this was one of them), 9, 10 and 17. I haven’t heard of half of these films.
The most significant exclusion is what I’m guessing is the highest-grossing black and white film that fits the time period, Schindler’s List. Interesting.
Any other comments or gripes? As you might expect I would consider more Woody Allen, with Stardust Memories, Zelig, or Broadway Danny Rose (not Shadows and Fog).