Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980) was shot in black-and-white. Some might consider that a drawback but it allowed Scorsese to do some interesting things with the lighting. Let's check out a scene.
Robert De Niro's performance in this scene is top-notch. It's like his skill increases anytime he's in a movie that Scorsese directs.
The best part about this scene is that the lighting in the frame and the De Niro's dialogue complement each other. Notice, that the only times we can see his face is when he's acting within the realm of anger.
He curses at the prison guards in direct light, he slams his head into the wall in direct light, and he repeatedly punches the wall in direct light. The audience only ever sees his more volatile emotions. When he finally breaks down, he is deep in the shadows of his cell. Out of view from everyone.
He pleads to no one that he's not an animal, that he's not that bad, in complete darkness.
This mirrors a lot of what happens throughout the film. Jake La Motta hardly shows softer emotions. He pleads with his brother to punch him in the face, he puts his hands on his wife, and constantly argues with her.
Whenever anyone else is around, the only language La Motta knows is violence/anger. And it isn't until he's by himself, alone in the dark, that we can finally "see" his softer side.
What do you guys think? Are there any films that come to your mind that utilize lighting this way? Feel free to let me know in the comments section!