The Artist


This film was just shown at Cannes. It's apparently getting tons of buzz. It's a silent black and white by French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius and features 2 French actors. It's set in Hollywood in the 20s.

In another article I was reading it said when the film was over it got a 10-minute standing ovation.

May have to make sure I catch this.

Cannes 2011 Review: Michel Hazanavicius' B&W Silent Film 'The Artist'

In today's modern world, we're used to seeing films in color, with sound, with music, with dialogue, and sometimes even in 3D. Every once in a while a filmmaker goes black-and-white to tell a story. But before yesterday, never have I seen a modern filmmaker attempt to create a completely new B&W silent film. Not only did French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius do exactly that, but he has crafted a wonderful homage that's just wonderful and exudes an effusive love for cinema. It's called The Artist and stars French actors Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo and is set in the late 20s in Hollywood at the end of the silent film era.

The plot is fairly straightforward, and it's essentially a silent film all over again. George Valentin (Dujardin) is a big silent film star, but with the advent of sound and talkies, his career begins to wither away, as its a new era and no one wants to see an old star. Early on, he bumps into Peppy Miller (Bejo), a wannabe starlet who starts with small side roles and eventually becomes the new hot thing, breaking out big with the talkies. George even has a Jack Russell Terrier who follows him around is on screen in every scene he is, just like in the old days. There's a bit of a love story, but it's more of a tragedy about the downfall of an actor at the advent of technological progression. Which, I would say, is just as relevant today as it was back in the 20s.

There was just something truly magical about seeing Hazanavicius attempt, and succeed, at recreating a silent film that not only follows the same technique, but brings us deep into the world of Hollywood at the time. It's light and comical, and at times corny, but ceaselessly charming and entertaining to watch. I felt so many magnificent emotions, from delight to sadness to pure joy, and I never stopped smiling from start to finish. The Artist has a kind of wonderful, classic feeling that all cinephiles can and should love that also gives us the opportunity to revel in a time and place that we really don't see much of on screen nowadays.

Fritz Lang's Metropolis is one of my all-time favorite films, a classic silent film, and being able to spend more time exploring that kind of world and that kind of cinema, something which I admittedly haven't had too much experience with before, was an exciting experience for me. I don't just love this film, I adore it, and there's not much I can be critical about. Why complain about the running time when it's the love for classic cinema and the brilliant, flawless execution that already makes this a masterpiece? I cannot suggest it enough and truly hope everyone takes the opportunity to catch The Artist at some point during its release.
"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it, never really care for anything else thereafter." - Ernest Hemingway

I only recently became aware of this movie, but I would really like to see it. I'm intrigued that someone would attempt to make a new silent film. I read something a little while ago where Michel Hazanavicius said (something to the effect of - I can't find it right now) "Silent film isn't a dead storytelling style, it's just a style that no one has used in a long time." I doubt we'll see a slew of new silent films just because this one has been a critical success. The current filmgoing audience does not have the attention span for silent movies. But I am happy to see someone realize it can still be done, and apparently done well.
"I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries." - Frank Capra
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Wonderful film, though i felt that the ending was way too abrupt and inappropriate. Maybe Hazanavicius wanted a happy ending to such a depressing film. By the end of the film, I never empathised with Valentin anyway. And The Great Depression was mentioned but i dont understand what it had to do with the movie, other than to highlight that historical point in time to modern audience.

Anyway, i give it

Kim Novak says The Artist ďraped my careerĒ
Hollywood legend says Oscar favourite ripped of theme from Vertigo, director responds

Kim Novak, the 73-year-old star of Hitchcock's classic 'Vertigo', has fired an amazing broadside at Oscar favourite 'The Artist'.

Novak feels that use of love theme tune from 'Vertigo' in 'The Artist' is ďcheatingĒ, and has said so in uncompromising fashion in a full-page advert in a recent issue of Variety.


Note the use of CAPS. She's clearly ANNOYED!

Novak goes on to say that the small credit given to original composer Bernard Herrmann is not enough.


Michel Hazanavicius, director of 'The Artist', has responded in more measured terms.

ď'The Artist' was made as a love letter to cinema, and grew out of my (and all of my cast and crewís) admiration and respect for movies throughout history.Ē

He concluded: ďI love Bernard Hermann and his music has been used in many different films and Iím very pleased to have it in mine. I respect Kim Novak greatly and Iím sorry to hear she disagrees.Ē

The real question now is if this will affect the Oscar race in any way. The Academy usually opts for the safest option when dishing out awards, and this is the first black mark against 'The Artist'.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I think that Kim Novak should be happy that more young people will know about her now, but I think that her lawyer is the one who raped her. What a dick! and obviously an ambulance chaser.
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will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Kim Novak was a pretty terrible actress most of the time. Hitchcock got a performance out of her, but the part also played up to her strengths. I don't know what the hell that kind of music is doing in a homage to silent movies, it is not the style of the period, but I also don't know what the hell she is so worked up about. It is hardly the first time music composed from one movie appears in another.
It reminds me of a toilet paper on the trees
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Yeah, that Novak stuff the last couple days has mostly been sad...for her. Geesh. Imagine what's gonna happen when she finally gets around to watching Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys, which uses the music AND THE SCENE ITSELF!!! Get a grip. Gene Kelly hated that Kubrick used "Singin' in the Rain" for A Clockwork Orange, but he didn't cry about it or say he had been violated...and that scene actually was a rape! But I'm sure glad Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wasn't alive in 1958 to feel as equally violated when Mr. Hitchcock DARED to rape the memory of his Symphony No. 34 in C Major as a throwaway moment in some film called Vertigo. The horror!

You sad, daffy, irrelevant broad.

Ludovic Bource did a really wonderful original score for The Artist, marvelous stuff that is evocative of the era, playful, and also emotional. The film does also use a handful of well-known compositions throughout, including "Pennies from Heaven", Duke Ellington's "Jubilee Stomp" and that one extended piece from Herrmann, which fits in rather perfectly with the finale. How many Ennio Morricone tracks did Tarrantino swipe for Inglourious Basterds, alone? Seven? This was hardly dishonest theft.

For those who haven't seen The Artist yet (and by the way, you should), the climax of the story is scored with the "Love Scene" segment of Hermann's Vertigo score. I recognized it instantly the first time I saw The Artist, of course. Didn't have a problem with it, at all, and could scarcely imagine anyone having an issue with it. And by the way, it is properly sourced in the end credits.

The question going around town in somewhat more hushed tones is, 'Who paid for that trade ad?' Did Kim Novak really feel so strongly about it that she ponied up the $32,000 or so for the advertisement? Or, while her delusional outrage may be real to her, did one of the studios that will be potentially vying with The Artist for the coveted Oscar in February get wind of this kerfuffle and decide to use it to their advantage, to try and tarnish the film before all the membership had watched their screeners, or at least make it an issue in the press? Stranger things have happened in that town.

Whatever the level or reasons for the ginned-up controversy and the rather outrageous jargon that was attached to it, I loved that writer/director Michel Hazanavicius handled it with class on his end. Rather than respond in kind or make fun of the aged former starlet, that statement he issued today was, "The Artist was made as a love letter to cinema, and grew out of my (and all of my cast and crew's) admiration and respect for movies throughout history. It was inspired by the work of Hitchcock, Lang, Ford, Lubitsch, Murnau and Wilder. I love Bernard Herrmann, his music has been used in many different films, and I'm very pleased to have it in mine. I respect Kim Novak greatly, and I'm sorry to hear she disagrees."


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"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra

Kim Novak is stupid. Calling attention to something in a negative way only gives something more power. Now I'm gonna go see The Artist -- I haven't been laid in awhile. I could use the penetration.