in mind my essential change-aversion, I would say that while I can understand
the impulse to "get over it," I don't think that we should.
Obsolescence is not reason enough to drop dated technology if it can obtain a unique
effect that cannot be obtained otherwise.
Take the black and white film example. The only reason that a contemporary film released in black and white seems contrived and therefore distracting is because it doesn't happen very often. If more filmmakers were interested in the aesthetic effect, then it would be more commonly seen, and we could focus on the image rather than worry about how dated it is. It won't be the same was watching an earlier film (though remember that color film appeared barely two decades after widespread black and white, and that they co-existed much longer than black and white or silents). But let's also consider something- is it really that distracting?
Two recent-ish examples come to mind. "Manhattan," of 1979, even acknowledges its color choice in the voiceover at the beginning ("New York was a city that existed in black and white, and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin") but after we have taken that breath to notice that the color is a strategy, I would venture to say that we no longer notice it and instead become absorbed in the aesthetic, the mood, and the story. Are you still thinking about it's being a black and white film when
A later example. "Clerks," from 1994. Less an aesthetic choice than a financial one. Kevin Smith was dead broke and super 8 was all he could afford. But its grittiness and cheapness is a large part of what makes that film work- the medium itself conveys a percentage of the outlook, the paucity, the ennui of the lives there. It makes the night darker, which is very 23 year old bored kid in
Robert Frank, the guy I'm supposed to be writing my dissertation about, would be really impatient with the get over it idea. He embraces new media- making music videos even- but he privileges the aesthetic effect over all. He'll knit color video and black and white film in one art text. He'll shoot Patti Smith on black and white film only, because it is more suited to her personality. Why be so limited? Why look only ahead?