It’s an Artistic Smash!
“The Artist” is an artistic smash!
It is somewhat laughable how a silent black and white film made in the 21st century and released in the year 2012 makes you, as an audience member, completely lose sight of the past 100 years of movie making. Yes, if you are open minded enough to be transported back to that time, then “The Artist” will certainly make you feel as if you are, like the audience member’s in the meta-referencing opening, in a 1920′s cinema watching the latest silent movie blockbuster. You can sit there in the darkened movie theatre with your hot dog and your super sized cola and completely forget that colour exists. Or that just next door in the next screen theres a film playing where the actors actually speak… out loud! And, if you wanted, you could watch them in eye-popping three dimensions with high definition clarity spread across a wide screen. About thirty seconds into “The Artist” you completely forget the years and years of cinematic advancement and for 1 hour and 40 minutes you can relax safe in the knowledge that the year is 1927 and outside the movie theatre there is a safe, innocent black and white world awaiting you.
However after the film finishes you pick up your very modern backpack, and you get your iPhone out your pocket to check the time and you walk out of the screen into a bustling foyer full of Emo’s and Scene kids with their over sized headphones and over sized egos. The smell of Nachos and stale popcorn overtakes oxygen and you realise you’re in the 21st Century, and you remember that no you cannot smoke in public anymore, no you can’t spontaneously wear a suit and federo to the movie theatre, and no you certainly cannot do the Charleston at the local dance hall tonight without looking a complete idiot. What a shame.
It is even more of a shame that it is precisely the past 100 years of cinematic advancements that mean “The Artist” will not, and never will, appeal to modern day audiences. Why go and see a black and white silent film when I can go see “Avatar” in 3D? Why go see that arty farty film when I can go and watch the latest Jonah Hill “comedy” (if you can call it that)? Well, you should go and see it because it’s a lovingly produced homage to the early beginnings of cinema, a well thought-out and conceived production that captures the innocence and beauty of a time gone by and it’s a love-letter to the golden age of an industry that has an unknown future, but will hopefully never have an unknown past.