Sunday, 15 January 2012

Da Artist

You might think that all that can be said about The Artist has already been said. And you'd probably be right. But being the stubborn fool that I am, I wish to throw in my 2 cents into the overcrowded pit of change regardless.

The Artist is not a movie. Not in the conventional sense of the word anyway. It would be better described as an 'Art Form Time Machine' - although, I'm not sure if this description would sell many tickets. Transporting viewers back to a simpler time, when cinema was more about the visual delights of swashbuckling heroes and backflipping dogs, rather than the sensory assaults of a Michael Bay film. This makes it quite unlike anything I've seen in recent years, and therefore worthy of it's unprecedented critical attention.

 The dog from Beginners and the dog from The Artist: I'm not sure which one I want to kidnap more.

Being 100 minutes in length, The Artist requires its viewers to suspend their normal requirements for a cinematic experience. Even the most snobbish of cinefiles might feel a little nervous about the idea of a contemporary (virtually) silent movie. But this film beautifully reminds us that most modern movies are so consumed by their own idea of 'spectacle', that often the heart of the film is neglected. This is where The Artist shines. A poetically uncynical romance story is laid out in front of the audience, with barely any diversions on the main plot line.

It's theme of embracing both the old and the new is magnificently portrayed in both the mise-en-scene and narrative, culminating into a faultless piece of cinema. Go see it and try not smiling like a goon.