Haven’t seen The Artist yet but it’s getting lots of hype. What’s the good word, mubi folk? The director is best known for bad mainstream French spy parodies so I’m slightly suspicious. Is it this year’s Amelie?
It’s better, Ari. I saw it with all the suspicion of someone who hates whimsy….and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s not just an homage to silent film, but it also includes elements of the talkies as well as classic films. The story is familiar but Hazanavicious makes this a unique film. I’m still suspicious of Hugo, though….
aww i’m happy to hear that. really looking forward to it
new york critics pick ‘the artist’ best film
Interesting. I’m definitely curious. I’ll definitely check it out. It’s kind of tricky pulling off those kinds of homages. At least it doesn’t seem like an empty pastiche.
Silent Kitsch. Rips off Singin’ in the Rain and A Star is Born (1937). Watch if you are ignorant of cinema and maybe you can enjoy it.
i’m guessing the new york film critics aren’t ignorant of cinema. it’s obvious from the trailer that it ‘rips off’ singin’ in the rain and a star is born. the lead actor even looks like gene kelly! and it was a huge favorite at cannes. i still wanna see it
I want to see it too…..and I sure hope it’s not this year’s Amelie…..I could have puked on that film’s “whimsy”.
The Artist is a disappointment. Ever since all the hype came out of Cannes, I’ve been cautiously skeptical of this film. I think it’s well acted and the b&w photography looks prestine but the story is so thin and the film is so devoid of real emotion that it’s not so much of an homage to silent film but more of an imitation. I wasn’t completely bowled over by Hugo but I think that film gets the emotion of early cinema down a lot better.
If you want to watch The Artist, just watch the trailer. The whole movie is in the trailer.
Yeah, the trailer isn’t bad. Huh, reactions seem pretty mixed. I think the Mrs. wants to see it so I’ll have check it out.
You should definitely see it Ari. I’m a big proponent of trying to see as much as possible, particularly films that get a lot of attention. Even though it bored and underwhelmed me, is seems like some people like it.
Would you say it’s a silent film for people who don’t watch silent movies?
I don’t watch much silent films and I didn’t like it.
Just left the screening. Naturally it’s film critics who have been spreading the excited words. I wouldn’t even call it a “bad” film, it’s just sophomoric – Coen brothers quirkiness without their seasoned wit. I feel the big fans of this film would change my tunes quickly if they had seen the director’s OSS films (which are fun and fine enough, but again, come on). Jean Dujardin is very charming and seems to spend half of his life with that infectious shit-eating grin, and that makes me smile. But yeah… I was most certainly a little bored during this one. Feels more like a short film because of the limited scope of the story.
I was about to post in Last Movie You Saw And Rate It, so I might as well talk about it here instead.
It’s basically an arthouse, nonmusical version of Singin In The Rain. Only a lot of its attempts to be artistic come off as cheeky references. It sort of rubs its referential tone in your face and doesn’t stand on its own without doing so. It’s not an artistic masterpiece, but it is…cute. Fun. Pleasant.
But, it’s a movie that I wouldn’t complain about winning mainstream awards, and might get ‘tier-2’ cinephiles interested in silent films. So, not a bad film, but don’t expect it to be something it’s not.
At its best, THE ARTIST is a charming trifle. All this Best Picture talk has saddled it with expectations and baggage that it shouldn’t have; it’s really a fluff piece.
The Artist is a stitched together, unoriginal pastiche of every Hollywood cliche imaginable. While pleasant at times it’s no masterpiece. I can’t believe this is the film that is gonna win the Best Picture Oscar.
I especially did not like the rip off of the Vertigo score near the end of the film. It immediately made me think of Hitchcock’s atmospheric, moody masterpiece which only made The Artist seem that much more inferior.
Oh…and I have seen and liked silent films…Modern Times is a favorite of mine.
I really think 2011 was an underwhelming year for cinema.
Writer Mark Asch from The L Magazine finally articulated what I’ve been trying to come up with since I saw the film:
“Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, is actually knowledgeable about silent film grammar: the silent star’s nightmare, in which he’s beset by Foley effects from every phone and buzzer, recalls the brief period of synced music and effects tracks—say, in Sunrise, whose future-shock traffic The Artist also lifts—that preceded talkies. (And Hazanavicius’s wife, Berenice Bejo, has Olive Oyl moxie.) But his use of the camera and editing rhythms are pitched to the roving eyelines of modern viewers; The Artist’s connection to the silent cinema seems largely a matter of self-congratulatory glossaries like the one Tad Friend provided in a recent Talk of the Town piece, even as many of the references seem like nods towards nothing in particular (“… sideways ‘wipes’ between scenes… pencil mustaches… headlines that pinwheel from the frame…”). The film’s Brilliantined hamminess evokes a vague, idealized naïveté."
I’m seeing it this week (hopefully tomorrow, but we’ll see how that goes), and I’ll report back on it afterwards, though I must say I’m a bit annoyed of all the acclaim this film is getting for alleged originality (which this thread is debunking) when Guy Maddin has been doing silent film send-ups with much more intelligence, distinctiveness, and heart for close to 3 decades now, and I’m honestly shocked that he hasn’t been mentioned on this thread yet. Anyone who liked this film or found the concept interesting (whether you saw it or not) should definitely check out Maddin’s work as soon as possible, especially since he’s one of the few legitimately genius filmmakers working today.
I was really curious to see what silent film made in 2011 looks like. Dujardin looks like a silent actor. He certainly has the charm for that. Bejo looks too modern for me but that’s ok since she plays the girl who becomes the star of the talkies while his stardom is fading. It’s good, enjoyable, perfectly done. Music is great. It’s something different and it deserves the awards attention (since there are only few really exceptional works this year). But it’s not authentic silent movie so I can’t help asking what’s the purpose of this film. I’ll guess it’s expression of love for movies and an homage to old Hollywood. If you can sit through silent movie go and see it. It’s fine. It’s light and not very funny (not really a comedy) but like I said it’s fine. Good movie. 8.50/10
I agree that the film is an expression/homage of love to films as a whole but it uses all the cliches from old Hollywood films without injecting anything new into them.
//Dujardin looks like a silent actor. He certainly has the charm for that.//
//Music is great. //
The Vertigo rip off bothered me….what exactly was the point of that? It’s the scene where Bejo is driving over to Dujardin’s house because she is worried about him.
I think this would have worked better as short subject film…..
Also, what is the point of putting the gun in his mouth and then having the word BANG in the titles…he didn’t shoot himself so this is a cheat and an unfair manipulation of the audience…I hated that.
You’re right about the BANG moment.stupid.
I forgot to answer the question – silent kitsch or a wordless delight?
it’s something in between! I hate kitsch in dramas but in this kind of stuff it’s fine.
I’ll agree about the BANG moment being a rather cheap joke, and the appropriation of the Herrmann score is a serious miscalculation.
I’m squarely in the wordless delight camp. I enjoyed the hell out of the rest of the film — a pastiche, as noted above, but a pastiche of great charm and humor, a far more effective salute to the magic of the movies than Scorsese’s more heavy handed HUGO.
I’d say The Artist was a bit of both—I found it charming and entertaining, especially in comparison with the overrated Melancholia (which, despite the striking images of the prelude and the finale felt the same as the rest of von Trier’s work—overtly austere and self-conscious, heavy-handed, with the characters’ performances and the narrative as a whole feeling like cold installments behind panes of glass in a museum.)
However, when all’s said and done, The Artist was rather fluffy and fizzy (an apt homage to the silver screen silents but quite trite and nothing special—certainly not deserving of the best film of the year critical plaudits.)
For me, the best film of the year (and, of course, it’s the most polarizing film of the year so many will disagree with me) was The Tree of Life.
Not a terrible movie, but not a great or very good one either, imo (although I haven’t really thought of it much). Some questions and comments:
>So does anyone have a good idea of the heart of this movie—i.e., what is the source of the drama? George faces the end of his career with the advent of “talkies” and a younger group of actors. Is he too proud to change or is he too old, so the situation is beyond his control? Or maybe both? Peppy comes in and tries to help George, but this doesn’t seem to work real well with the dramatic conflict the story has laid out. (The final resolution of the conflict is a bit disappointing, too. The film’s title also seems a bit out of place.) Am I missing something?
>There are some mildly charming moments (e.g., the dance sequences with the legs, George’s “sound” nightmare, etc.). Jean Dujardin (within his Gene Kelly smile—but not as fake) and (to a lesser extent) Berenice Bejo did a solid job—they had the right amount of charisma and charm to be likable and appealing. But these weren’t enough, imo.
>I thought the extras in this film were important and wonderful. What I mean is that they really looked like people from that time period—at least the people we see in silent films. I’m not just talking about costumes and hairstyles, but the actual facial features of the people. I’ve seen other modern films covering the same time period and the extras look like people from the late 20th Century/early 21st Century.
Dujardin has charisma to spare, even if it’s a bit painted on, but I do find his shit-eating grin infectious. I thought the moment of the film with the most actual humor was a relatively simple little gag when the old woman insists that the police officer follow Dujardin’s dog to the fire. That worked just because it was plain old silliness.
In my estimation, this film felt much more like a short film, particular a student-made short film; rather empty and largely technical and only speaking a superficial cinema language. After the initial Dujardin-inspired grins wore off, I honestly found it quite boring.
But this image of Dujardin as OSS 117 always flat out cracks me up:
Miasma said, In my estimation, this film felt much more like a short film, particular a student-made short film; rather empty and largely technical and only speaking a superficial cinema language.
Yeah, that remark resonates with me.
So a lot of really intelligent film watchers on here agree about The Artist’s shortcomings. OK..that makes me feel better….but the real question is…Why are all of the critics going gaga over this thing?
Why are all of the critics going gaga over this thing?
I haven’t read any reviews or reaction, but assuming this is true, I’d guess part of the excitement comes from the way the film revivals a certain style and time period in filmmaking, and the fact that the film can actually appeal to contemporary viewers. But that’s just a guess.