Will The Artist stand the test of time?

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The Artist, the best way to evaluate the film is to better understand the title. The Artist is about George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), the Hollywood superstar of silent film and his struggle with the development of the industry. George starts of at the top of the Hollywood tree and a really fans favourite. The introduction of sound into cinema was something George couldn’t take seriously. As he hangs onto his pride the producers refuse to pander to his needs and finds him outside the Hollywood bubble so to speak.

 

The Artist is a unique film that is for sure. When I witnessed this picture it brought memories of silent films of the past, such as: Nosferatu, The cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Metropolis. The Artist is perhaps not for the less interested filmgoer, as the musical score and lack of speech may grate on them quickly. I fount this to be a refreshing experience, which cant be said for multi Oscar winning films. That said if you are on the fence as whether to see it or not give it a try you maybe as surprised as me.

 

The art style of The Artist is maybe the strongest feature. As the dialogue is none existent the scenes are set through the strong visuals and creative cinematography. For example displaying an item or a sign to give the audience context in seconds will set a fresh scene. This is throughout and I feel this strength of communication without speech. Credit is given to the director, cinematographer, set designers and the actors. Will this help The Artist be remembered in 50 years time? Maybe but if I am honest I believe this film acts more as a stepping stone to films of a by gone era.

 

Sound. This is under more scrutiny than any other film of modern cinema. In a film where the musical score is so prevalent it has to be a classic score. This is not the case, yes the music is acceptable and keeps the audience informed of the emotions within the scene. But not a classic score by any means. There are examples of sound outside of the music, which ties into the story. This helps break up the music, and create a level of interest as to why items in the world suddenly have sound.

 

The main message is how the industry can change and leave you behind. In the end it doesn’t matter how big you were, it’s how big you are now. Adaptable behaviour is rewarded and those that refuse acquire ‘has been’ status.  Will this help The Artist secure a place in future classics? I think this can help the case. As this theme is comparable to Sidney Lumet - Network (1976). Network is considered by many to be a classic due to its realisation of the industry in whichever era it has been consumed in.

 

Overall I believe that The Artist is a worthy award winner but not a classic. The feeling of the homage to the classics of early cinema is too obvious to ignore. Therefore this will be a link to previous films of this nature. With the success of this film, expect a few more silent pictures to appear in cinemas. 



About the author

josh-evans

Hi there, I am currently studying film production at staffordshire university. I am also passionate about photography and I want to be in the creative media.

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