Thursday, December 8, 2011
Silent Film: The Artist
The Artist is a silent film with English title cards made in France with an American and French cast where music helps tell the story.
George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent film star unaware that just around the corner talkies will take over and his career will be over. He meets an up and coming starlet, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) who transitions into talkies with tremendous success. As her star rises, his fades, but the two of them remain connected with unspoken love and kickass silent chemistry.
The Artist is a black and white silent film. An actual silent film. The soundtrack brings characters to life, and the title cards that pop up from time to time help to clarify some plot points. It's a wonderfully shot film and beautifully creates a bygone era.
The subject matter, silent film star facing talkies, isn't anything new nor does it delve too deep with it. The film is more a tribute to an era that is long gone, and is really fun to watch.
Now there is sound in the film, but very little and used for effect in deliberate ways. Act One is completely silent and ends with a few sound effects as Valentin realizes that talkies are coming, sending him into panic mode. At the end, well I won't ruin it for you, but it's a great ending to a wonderful and unique modern film going experience.
P.S. Be warned that there is a cute dog in the film that will make you laugh.
P.S.S. Due to the silent nature of this film you will be able to hear popcorn chewing more so than usual