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The Artist (2011)


JimStark22
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If it wins the Best Picture Oscar, it'll only be a testament to the thinness of the field this year. While a very pleasant way to spend an hour and forty minutes, THE ARTIST is the proverbial inch deep. As Gertrude Stein once said, There's no there there. As for me, a little substance merits far more consideration for superlatives than this exercise in style over substance.

 

The film's greatest accomplishment is that, in this day and age, such a thing could actually get made at all.

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"The Artist" is a charming film- I do not have any strong feeling about any of the Best Picture Oscars this year but I haven't seen them all yet. Remenber that Hollywood likes to give the Oscar to pictures in which they are seen in the best light- so this year you have such progressive topics as race relations in the south "The Help", animals in peril " War Horse", Paris always looks great - "Midnight in Paris".

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Ive read that if this wins best best picture it will be the 2nd time in history that a silent movie won since the academy awards began. Also think i heard this discussed on IMDB that no movie about Hollywood has ever won Best Picture, this could be wrong but its what ive read.

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*The Artist* is a beautifully made film. It will probably win the Oscar for best original screenplay, unless Woody wins for *Midnight in Paris*, although the script is nothing special, very familiar to classic movie fans. However, the directing, the cinematography, the costumes, the set design, and the music elevate this story far beyond what's on the page. I'd be pleased for a movie this lovingly realized to take the top prize.

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>Ive read that if this wins best best picture it will be the 2nd time in history that a silent movie won since the academy awards began. Also think i heard this discussed on IMDB that no movie about Hollywood has ever won Best Picture, this could be wrong but its what ive read.

 

THE ARTIST isn't completely silent: there are a few lines of dialogue, one full scene with sound effects, and a synchronized music score throughout. It's only "silent" as a conceit, and not as a consequence of limited technology, as was the case with WINGS (and the 1927-27 winner of the Academy's one-time-only "Unique and Artistic Picture" award). Comparing them, or even calling THE ARTIST "silent" is misleading and pointless.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I completely disagree with Sprocket's point. He is absolutely right that it is not entirely silent, but calling it silent is neither misleading nor pointless. Schindler's List is not entirely black-and-white (the girl in the red coat), but I think most people would still feel comfortable classifying the film as such. And should a film like Some Like It Hot not be considered black-and-white, since the use of black-and-white was an aesthetic choice and not due to limited technology?

 

Yes, the film has some sound, and the use of sound is critical to the film's narrative. However, the film achieves nearly all of what it set out to through the use of silent film techniques, and thus I think it is accurate and neither misleading or pointless to classify it as silent.

 

-Matt

http://EveryOscarEver.blogspot.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

I loved the Artist & Hugo. It was wonderful to not get one but two films that celebrated film history like this.

 

If I could I would have given Best Picture to the Artist and Best Director to Scorsese for Hugo but I am glad that both these films walked home with awards.

 

And how wonderful to see a silent film (and yes despite a few moments of sound it's still a silent film) win Best Picture...the 2nd since the first Oscar's ceremony.

 

I am wondering if you told the motion picture industry in the late 20's when talkies were the new rave and silents were out that a silent film would win Best Picture in 2012 what they would think.

 

I am also hoping these two movies would get more people interested in watching silent films. That is my dream! ;)

 

Edited by: Kinokima on Mar 1, 2012 9:16 PM

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As of just over two weeks ago THE ARTIST had already taken in over 61 million dollars world wide. That's not to bad. Don't have an update since that time. It's done pretty well all things considered and definitely gotten people talking about Silent film. If the right movies were available on DVD for these new enthusiasts to discover films such as THE BIG PARADE, BEAU GESTE, OLD IRONSIDES, NAPOLEON, BARBED WIRE, THE CROWD, OLD HEIDELBERG, SHOW PEOPLE, etc, there would be allot more interest generated. Sadly, none of them are at the present time. The release of WINGS by Paramount was an unexpected plus.And it is selling well. Plus it has received suprisingly strong reviews, mostly from people who clearly had never seen the picture before. Now let's hope for more of the major Paramount, and MGM Silents among others that have long been denied a release.












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Well I just do not understand why Warner's spent allot of time and money two years between 2002 and 2004 restoring THE BIG PARADE if they were not going to release it soon. I don't call 8 years since the project was completed soon. And this restoration hasn't been on TCM yet either.TCM Progamer Chuck Tabesh expected to have the new broadcast master in his hands by 2009. It's now 2012.

 

At present, there is only two ways to see the restoration. Rent it in 35 Millimeter from either Warner Classics in the States, or from Photoplay Productions U.K. Though both have different scores the Warner Classics print has the 1931 Axt-Mendoza sound re-issue track. Basically a scaled down version of the original 1925 Orchestral score with 30 studio musicians. While the revised Photoplay print has the Carl Davis score recorded for the Thames Silents version in 1983.

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According to an article the 6 films that inspired the Artist were

 

http://www.indiewire.com/article/the-artist-director-michel-hazanavicius-on-the-films-that-inspired-him

 

City Lights

City Girl

Sunrise

The Crowd

The Unknown

Underworld (this is the only one I have not seen yet)

 

I was really hoping during the ceremony they would have name dropped more silent film stars/directors/films. The only one that I can recall being mentioned was Douglas Fairbanks by Dujardin.

 

And I don't really want to see more new silent films because then it would just feel like producers trying to cash in on The Artists success. But I would like to see more celebration of old silent films.

 

Why not bring back more revival's of silent films on the big screen, why not release more silent films on DVD/BR, heck this is a good chance for TCM to play more silent films and not just late Sunday night (although they have gotten better than that lately).

 

The Artist won best picture so this is a great time to get people interested in watching other silent films. Of course it's not going to work on everyone but I think certainly you will get some people interested who were not interested before.

 

For a lot of people the Artist was probably their first silent film. Now that they saw & enjoyed that they might be more willing to give other silent films a chance.

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Here are a couple of links to interesting articles. Interest definitely has picked up. But people have to know what to look for. It's easy to be put off by sub-par prints and bad scores. And allot of people are to ignorant to understand that the films never really looked that way to start with. For instance one guy complains about the bad organ music on NOSFERATU. Not realizing that is a Public-domain film with many versions on DVD. It is available fom Kino in a virtually pristine print restored by the Murnau Foundation, with a new recording of the original 1922 Orchestral score. And that looks and sounds spectacular. I never liked the picture much at all, until I saw the restored version. Which TCM has not aired either by the way.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2012/mar/02/top-five-silent-films

 

http://www.shadowlocked.com/201203012415....the-artist.html

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I actually commented on one of those articles a few days ago and for some reason they did not approve of my post (all I said is with so many great silent films it's almost impossible to make a top 10 post and I linked to the 100 greatest silent film list...which I think is a better place to start).

 

But I definitely agree there needs to be better education about silent films, especially about the score in most cases not being attached to the silent film itself. Instead people need to read reviews of what version of a silent film is the best to watch.

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FINALLY saw the film. I liked it, but thought it was overhyped. The male actor was very good, but didnt think the actress deserved a nomination (at least in the actress category). Aside from the gimmick of being mostly silent, there wasnt much to it. Technically well made........and WHY did they have to rip off the music from VERTIGO? NO EXCUSE for that! The original score wasnt always original! I was shocked how much Malcom McDowall had aged (basically a cameo part!)

 

Does anyone know the story about the guy the movie was dedicated to???

 

 

Dont understand all the hype about the dog either. Didnt do that much.........and they wanted a special award for it? GET REAL!

 

Edited by: Hibi on Mar 14, 2012 1:58 PM

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Hibi, your assessment of this movie pretty much matches mine. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I actually took a few catnaps during the first half of this movie. On the other hand, the use of the *VERTIGO* music was so bizarre and unexpected, that I stayed somewhat riveted for the remainder of the film.

 

 

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