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THE ARTIST on TCM


Ray Faiola
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What was with the end credits of THE ARTIST?  They were run at hyperspeed with the music dialed out at the end. Was this originally formatted for some network or commercial channel telecast?  I hadn't seen the picture before and would like to have had a better look at the support cast and crew.

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What was with the end credits of THE ARTIST?  They were run at hyperspeed with the music dialed out at the end. Was this originally formatted for some network or commercial channel telecast?  I hadn't seen the picture before and would like to have had a better look at the support cast and crew.

I didn't see last might's presentation of The Artist (having the film on DVD) but the same criticism of speeded up closing credits has been leveled against TCM's presentation of The King's Speech last night, as well. I certainly hope this isn't the shape of things to come with TCM.

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I just checked the end credits for both films using TCM On Demand, and they are definitely sped up. No problem for people who have taken Evelyn Wood's speed-reading course.  Looks like what we see on the commercial channels when they speed up the credits and sometimes start the next film while the previous credits are still rolling.

 

I guess the only recourse is to keep hitting the pause button to see the names.

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Extremely annoying.  I doubt this was done by TCM, but if it were I suppose their rationale could be "TCM viewers are used to old movies that have a maximum of 30 second End Cast credits - 5 minute credit sequences might hazard them turning away to ANOTHER CHANNEL!!!!".

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Extremely annoying.  I doubt this was done by TCM, but if it were I suppose their rationale could be "TCM viewers are used to old movies that have a maximum of 30 second End Cast credits - 5 minute credit sequences might hazard them turning away to ANOTHER CHANNEL!!!!".

 

I loved The Artist, but I also liked the fact that they got rid of the end credits as quickly as possible.  I'm a big fan of the 30 seconds or less variety, listing nothing but the actors and the roles they played.

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As I watched The Artist, the theme music playing was unusually familiar...as I listened I realized it was almost identical to the Vertigo score. I looked up both soundtracks and the 2 had Bernard Herrmann credits listed. Did anyone of you catch this?  

 

There was a lot of controversy about this.  Kim Novak publicly rebuked the makers of THE ARTIST for using the VERTIGO cue.  It was a very lazy employment of a classic score.  I'm sure what happened was that a temp track was prepared and the VERTIGO cue was used.  The director fell in love with it (who wouldn't?!) and decided to keep it.  I doubt the picture's composer was happy about it.  Plus, they just used Elmer Bernstein's recording of the cue.  They didn't even bother to re-record it or - heaven forfend - properly interpolate it into the fabric of the score.  Just one of the problems I had with this picture.

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There was a lot of controversy about this.  Kim Novak publicly rebuked the makers of THE ARTIST for using the VERTIGO cue.  It was a very lazy employment of a classic score.  I'm sure what happened was that a temp track was prepared and the VERTIGO cue was used.  The director fell in love with it (who wouldn't?!) and decided to keep it.  I doubt the picture's composer was happy about it.  Plus, they just used Elmer Bernstein's recording of the cue.  They didn't even bother to re-record it or - heaven forfend - properly interpolate it into the fabric of the score.  Just one of the problems I had with this picture.

Thanks for this info, Ray. I have vague memories of Kim Novak protesting the use of the Vertigo score, now that you mentioned it. I love THE ARTIST, as well as the performances of its two lead players. However, I did find it unexpected and strange that part of Herrmann's famous score was used in it.

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As I watched The Artist, the theme music playing was unusually familiar...as I listened I realized it was almost identical to the Vertigo score. I looked up both soundtracks and the 2 had Bernard Herrmann credits listed. Did anyone of you catch this?  

 

I found it very disconcerting.  I soon recognized the music.  It was extremely distracting having Vertigo recalled while watching the picture.  Although The Artist is generally a well done tribute to movies gone by, with many of the conventions and plot developments nicely recapitulated, it doesn't come near to the level of Vertigo.  Anyone who appreciates Mr. Herrmann's greatest score would feel rightly upset.

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The Artist  is one of those films that I enjoyed at the time I saw it, and then promptly forgot about it.

 

- about the use of the Vertigo theme: Maybe I'm being an inflexible purist (as opposed to the flexible kind of purist), but I feel that that music, so evocative and mysterious and yearning, is so inextricably associated with the Hitchcock film that it should not be used in anything else.

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Didn't find anything particularly exciting regarding THE ARTIST which deserved credits - the flick reminded me of a Sunset Blvd. knock-off ....

 

Sorry, JeanneCrain, I don't like to be disagreeable with a new member, but I have to disagree. The only thing The Artist had in common with Sunset Boulevard was that both explore the theme of a former hugely successful silent movie era star having to deal with being washed up and forgotten about after the advent of sound in film.

But that's where the similarity ends.

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misswonderlytoo, I saw similarities between the central characters of the films, the beloved loyal butler, the “car”, the movie director who calls the career shots along with both being shot in B&W and the theme as you aptly described – THE ARTIST reminds us merely of a slightly tweaked story line of Sunset Blvd.

 

Ironically, some have been critical of the rapidly moving ending credits, don’t know about others, but because there were very few “short” captive words to read I pretty much watched the entire movie in a brisk forward motion without missing dialect. 

 

Although THE ARTIST was a money making endeavor with very “attractive” performances by Oscar winner Jean Dujardin and Oscar nominee Berenice Bejo the film’s Best Motion Picture of the Year Oscar and Original Music Score wins were undeserving as they basically were a “tweaking” upon previous film successes.

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The Artist reminded me of the "dark side" of Singin' in the Rain.  What happens when an attractive leading man cannot adapt to sound?  The lead even reminded me physically of Gene Kelly at time.  I loved The Artist, but actually felt that Hugo was a greater film about film and filmmaking.  

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The Artist reminded me of the "dark side" of Singin' in the Rain.  What happens when an attractive leading man cannot adapt to sound?  The lead even reminded me physically of Gene Kelly at time.  I loved The Artist, but actually felt that Hugo was a greater film about film and filmmaking.  

 

Consider also A Star is Born.  Fading male star, rising female star.  Happy ending, tho.

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Sometimes there's a tendency to be resentful when your perception of a "lesser" film receives greater attention (and possibly, awards) than another film, similar in theme, you see as more deserving of plaudits. I have long felt that way about the greater reception that Tootsie received from critics and fans in 1982, as opposed to the other big sexual identity comedy of that same year, the sublime, sophisticated, witty Victor Victoria.

 

I have not seen Hugo, therefore have no comment upon it. Let's say, for argument's sake, though, that it is superior to The Artist. That doesn't mean that the latter is still not a clever, charming, at times moving, homage to the movies, in particular dealing with the transition period from silents to talkies, and concentrating on a fallen star.

 

Jean Dujardin is quite magnificent in the lead, a remarkably charismatic performance. I have seen so many films far less deserving than this one that have walked away with the big Oscars.

 

Oh, yeh, I like that little jack russell in the film, as well.

 

I do, however, agree with the criticism of The Artist regarding the decision to re-use Bernard Herrmann music in it . That music belongs to one film and one film only.

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misswonderlytoo, I saw similarities between the central characters of the films, the beloved loyal butler, the “car”, the movie director who calls the career shots along with both being shot in B&W and the theme as you aptly described – THE ARTIST reminds us merely of a slightly tweaked story line of Sunset Blvd.

...

...they basically were a “tweaking” upon previous film successes.

 

I'd say the story line was way more than "slightly tweaked". It's completely different.

 

Ok, "on paper", The Artist and Sunset Boulevard share those features you list.

 

But there's such a world of difference between the two, it doesn't even occur to me to compare them.

For one thing, we can leave out the fact of "both being shot in B & W", since such a multiltude of films have been shot in black and white, it renders that particular commonality meaningless.

 

The Artist is essentially a pastiche; and a very good pastiche it is.

But Sunset Boulevard is a tremendous piece of filmmaking; yes, it too pays homage to film history's silent era. But it is so much more than that. It's Billy Wilder at his best - funny, acerbic, compassionate, cynical. Somehow he can capture all of that in one great film.

 

Sunset Boulevard is a big story about big emotions (and big stars - "it's the pictures that got small !") that takes risks and makes us both cringe and laugh (well, I laugh, anyway.)

 

The Artist is a pleasant little movie with a more or less happy ending (not that I have a problem with happy endings) that I found both entertaining and forgettable.

I never forget Sunset Boulevard.

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I'd say the story line was way more than "slightly tweaked". It's completely different.

 

Ok, "on paper", The Artist and Sunset Boulevard share those features you list.

 

But there's such a world of difference between the two, it doesn't even occur to me to compare them.

For one thing, we can leave out the fact of "both being shot in B & W", since such a multiltude of films have been shot in black and white, it renders that particular commonality meaningless.

 

The Artist is essentially a pastiche; and a very good pastiche it is.

But Sunset Boulevard is a tremendous piece of filmmaking; yes, it too pays homage to film history's silent era. But it is so much more than that. It's Billy Wilder at his best - funny, acerbic, compassionate, cynical. Somehow he can capture all of that in one great film.

 

Sunset Boulevard is a big story about big emotions (and big stars - "it's the pictures that got small !") that takes risks and makes us both cringe and laugh (well, I laugh, anyway.)

 

The Artist is a pleasant little movie with a more or less happy ending (not that I have a problem with happy endings) that I found both entertaining and forgettable.

I never forget Sunset Boulevard.

I've also noticed a bit of A Star Is Born in that movie as well.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I know this topic is more or less done, but for some reason I want to make just one more comment here.

(The dead horse still has a faint pulse...)

 

At the risk of sounding cranky and snooty, I have to say that just because a film - or a number of films - share one plot element, that does not make them all "similar". Or similar enough to be putting them all in the same category,anyway.

 

There are in fact a great many films about washed-up movie stars who used to be "big", but times moved on without them, either because of new technical developments they can't adapt to, or a change in public tastes, or personal problems such as some kind of addiction, etc.

Often the has-been star has a loyal friend or lover or spouse who continues to support and encourage them. This can lead to a somewhat happy ending (as in The Artist), or, more often, an unhappy one (as in all the versions of A Star is Born.)

 

But the whole thing about Sunset Boulevard is, the protagonist has sort of the opposite kind of relationship to the washed-up star. He feels sorry for her, but he's also repelled by her. He is only with her to use her - to hide from his creditors and also, hopefully, make some money off her by writing her "come-back" screenplay.

They're both using each other, Norma Desmond to maintain the illusion that she's still attractive and important, and Joe Gillis for the reasons listed above.

Their relationship is bizarre at best, and sick at worst. Unlike all the other "washed-up star" movies.

There's no "feel good" factor in SB.

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