Betsy Speicher

The Artist (2011)

Rate this movie   1 vote

  1. 1. Artistic Merit

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  2. 2. Sense of Life or Personal Value

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2 posts in this topic

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imdb.com listing for The Artist (2011).

Movie suggested for rating by Jim A.

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WARNING: Plot spoilers may follow:

For many years I've thought it would be great if someone made a silent movie today, taking advantage of all the artistic possibilities that eliminating audible dialogue would yield to a film, allowing the viewer to focus more on the visual communication of the story and its concepts (kind of in the way the absence of color from a stone sculpture allows the viewer of that work to focus on the three-dimensional and tactile characteristics of it). So, in that sense, I enjoyed The Artist: the fact that a filmmaker did it. But I thought it fell short of its potential.

The motivation of at least one main character was not clear to me. I also questioned a basic premise that character accepted that he did not question, a premise regarding his marketibility in a field of entertainment with a new technology. And I thought what made the female lead in the story attracted to him was not made explicit enough. But nevertheless, I enjoyed The Artist to a point, and thought it showed that even today movies can be "silent" and still be entertaining and funny.

The music is good, and appropriate--except for a portion that utlizes, without informing young audiences of the source until the final credits, music from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. I am a huge fan of Bernard Herrmann, and want people who hear his music for the first time to know that it was his. The other problem I had with the use of that music from Vertigo is that it is not appropriate for The Artist in any way; it suggests erotic obsession, in the way Tristan and Isolde does, and so, in my view, does not apply to the scenes it is used for. The composer for The Artist apparently wanted something gloomy, and he could have composed his own music for that.

But despite the gloom of that portion of the movie, it ends on a very spritely and happy note, and I always like that when it seems to follow at least somewhat logically from the preceding events.

See The Artist and judge for yourself.

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