"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"
Monday, February 13, 2012
Alrighty, lets back track.
I saw the preview for it initially, a couple of months ago. I squirmed my face at it, like I so often do, judgementally, when I don't like something.
I thought...."Oh! A movie about an artist! Like me! Yayayayay! Artists everywhere yay! Oh wait...its a silent movie? A Silent movie? In 2012? A black and white movie???? In 2012? It legit looks like it was made in the 1920s. For real. I don't get it. Was it actually filmed in 2012 or is it like, a re-release? Are they going to re-release all the old films, just like they're doing with disney morphing through the 3D phase? Oh, god."
Despite me liking movies, a lot, I take shame in the fact that I was just never able to really get in to the "Classics" of our grandparents time. Believe me, I tried. I took a literature & film class, and saw I'd say the top 10 classics, and suffered through each one. Even Casablanca (hate me now, i'm sorry!) I just don't like the classicy feel of the film. I love color.
So then I went about my life, moved on.
Then the Oscars came. And I kept hearing this movie name. The Artist. And I thought to myself, is that the one that I shunned off the planet when I saw the preview? Um, Yeah. It was.
So it came to my local independant theater. I saw it listed there for weeks. But I kept tossing the idea around.
I should go see it. I'll probably like it. After all, it wouldn't be all over the Oscars if the majority of its audience didn't like it, right? It has to be good. Or at least a little good. But its silent....and I have major ADHD....can I trust myself to sit through a 2 hr silent film and not fall asleep? Probably not. I like sound. I like sound a lot. You know what else I like a lot? Color. I like color. Can I get over not having color for two hours? I don't know. But its about an artist, right? I'll probably like it. And it has tap dancing, I know that. I like tap dancing. And John Goodman. He's cool. And 2012-ish. GO see it. Just do it. If you hate it, then oh well. Do it.
So, I went to go see it. Anddddddd, the only thing I'm mad about, is...WHY DIDN'T I GO SEE THIS SOONER?
Yes. I do have ADHD. I love sound and I love color, and yet I was perfectly entrapped for the whole two hours in this silent, black and white film that looked like it was filmed in 1930.
Being that lately I've strangely coincidentally been around a lot of people that majored in film and are going into the film industry, (and that I've taken one film class myself), I've picked up a couple things about artistic direction in film. That being so, I can confidently say that the artistic direction, symbolism and picture in "The Artist" is pure genius. Things are very carefully placed, the settings chosen perfectly. Being that it is silent, the actors have to work that much harder to convey emotion, and they did it well. Props must be used ever so carefully to help the audience show whats going on.
As for the music, It was used and not used in all the right spots. It was almost like the music was doing the talking. It was like, "hey, in case you don't GET the fact that this scene is supposed to be really intense, let me make the music really super intense."
Plot, Incredible. I followed every minute of it and was at the edge of my scene in some parts. There were literally moments where I was surprised the movie took a certain direction, and parts where I was seriously wondering what was going to happen next. Thats saying a lot for a silent movie, I think. It kind of had a "42nd Street" feel to it, where you are watching how (in this case-a movie) is put together, so you see the characters playing multiple roles at different times, off screen and on so to speak.
Characters.....ah, the best part. Leads played by Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, you fall in love instantly with the two of them, like you're supposed to. Berenice Bejo pulls you in the very second you meet her and you can't help but not stop looking at her the whole rest of the movie. Well casted, well casted. She is the center of the movie and it may not have lifted off as well without her enthusiasm, her obvious love for the movie, her smile, and her emotion. Amazing actress and I hope we continue to see more of her.
Any actress that is visibly able to portray what they are saying with only using their gestures and body language and lip reading, is a genius. I think so, at least.
I'm going to leave you this time with not a trailer- as I so often do. This is because when I saw the trailer, I squirmed my face, both times. It didn't make me want to go run and see the movie. I went because I wanted to see what all the hype was about. So instead I'm leaving you with my favorite (ADORABLE!!!) clip from the movie. Enjoy!
PS- Take it from me. I'm squirmy. I have horrible, horrible ADHD and hardly can't sit through anything. I don't normally like B&W or silents, ever. But this, this was awesome. Go.See.It. I promise you'll like it.