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The Artist


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The new movie The Artist was like seeing someone's nightmare version of Singing in the Rain Imagine, Don Lockwood marries Lina Lamont. It is Kathy Selden who becomes a star and Don Lockwood a failure. However all does end well happily. How? I won't tell you. A must for TCM fans to see.

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Having just seen this movie I am only now able to add a comment. I think it was a courageous and gutsy leap of faith for a black and white silent movie to be attempted in this day and age, but for it to have turned out so beautifully and brilliantly is even more astounding. It showed how actors had to portray their characters with exaggerated facial expressions and body language, how they managed it with the few words which would appear on the screen and of course a musical score. In those days it would seem the musical score *had* to be outstanding as it was being used to assist the actors in conveying a message. In movies of this era it merely booms into my ear drums and slams into my head like a mallet. In ‘The Artist’ it was brought back to me how important a musical score is to a movie and in this movie it could not have been more beautiful. Hopefully some present day movie-makers will take heed.

 

 

The story was essentially true to life and I found the ending unpredictable and endearing. The acting was of Academy Award quality. I loved this movie and the cinema was well attended even though it’s been showing for well over 7-8 weeks now. That is saying something! I thought who better to comment on this movie if not the classic movie fans and aficionados of the TCM message boards but there’s not a lot of chatter about it…..surprising.

 

 

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libradoll wrote:

<< I think it was a courageous and gutsy leap of faith for a black and white silent movie to be attempted in this day and age >>

 

Yes and it paid off! :) Winner at the Golden Globes and all the praises its been receiving! Makes me wonder what the producers of "Avatar" and the "Twilight" saga must be thinking....never mind I know :_|

 

Just saw another commercial for it and the commentator said This is how great movies use to be made. Well DUH, you think!? ; (replying to the commentator)

 

I love when a film comes along and breaks all conceived notions what makes a modern movie *great!*

 

Edited by: hamradio on Jan 19, 2012 12:17 AM

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> {quote:title=hamradio wrote:}{quote}libradoll wrote:

> << I think it was a courageous and gutsy leap of faith for a black and white silent movie to be attempted in this day and age >>

>

> Yes and it paid off! :) Winner at the Golden Globes and all the praises its been receiving! Makes me wonder what the producers of "Avatar" and the "Twilight" saga must be thinking....never mind I know :_|

It's awfully cynical of me, but the reason why The Weinstein Co. picked up the movie in the first place is because they knew they could advertise it in a very specific way to specific people and get these results.

 

The American business model for nearly twenty years now has been to produce cash cows and blockbuster type films for most of the year and, during the fall and winter, use their "indie farms" (Weinstein Co., Fox Searchlight, etc.) to produce product for another audience. One always hears lamentation of the lack of "adult" or "smart" or "(similar term)" films during this time of the year...the time of the year when you always happen to get a multitude of movies that fulfill those demands to the people who say such things. And these films always do financially well, contrary to the widespread belief, and it's because they're often marketed using the above assumptions about the films they're selling.

 

It's as focus grouped and market tested as any of the blockbusters but in a different way. The Artist passes market muster not because it conforms to a formula but because it has a...level of quirkiness and obvious difference that can easily be marketed. It's a clear image of "opposite." I mentioned in another thread that the Japanese never exported Ozu's films back in the day not because of their stylistic properites (they thought they were completely ordinary) but because, in its subject and genre, they were perceived to lack any appeal to western audiences. A period film or a samurai film have basic exotic appeal because they look different, but they also have generic similarities to westerns - and that's what we would typically get in the 1950s. It's different and similar at the same time (everything is, actually, but whether or not it can be exploited - that's the key.)

 

The Artist has obvious differences in its appearance from the normal product we get, but at the same time it appeals to the same things that audiences always like at the movies - sentiment, conventional plotting, etc.

 

My ultimate point being this - there's no dearth of intelligent or adult or "different" films, it's just difficult to find a lot of them, and I think the tactics that the studios use with films like The Artist only help obscure the rich variety of things that are actually happening every year by giving a priveleged appearance to the set that they choose to endorse every year.

 

I haven't seen The Artist yet, I very well might enjoy it, but I have wider concerns about its portrayal of silent films, chiefly, that it exploits the idea that silent films are different from sound films when they really aren't; it's only the most superficial difference. It's a novelty I don't appreciate. I get the feeling that 90-99% of the people who see The Artist won't seriously engage themselves with silent films, that ultimately the film's novelty only hepls itself and does nothing to improve the conditions real silent films face.

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