Beware all you filmmakers and sound editors out there when watching and listening to the first 20 minutes of The Artist. (I actually stopped a theater employee walking by and asked if all the soundtracks were functioning.) Most of the time cards would appear to express the characters’ dialogue. Some dialogue did not have cards.
We’re trained to hear separate soundtracks; music, sound, effects and oh, yes, dialogue. I knew very little about this movie going into it. I did not expect a movie with John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell and James Cromwell to have basically no dialogue. About 98% of the ‘film’ is literally ‘silent.’ This black and white throwback to the late 1920’s expresses how glorious film was in its time. Talkies arrived.
Suddenly, it was “Out with the old and in with the new.”
It’s nice to see that The Artist was filmed on 35mm Kodak film negative. My very first film was shot with the same gorgeous black and white film negative at film school in 1994. It goes without saying, the cinematography was breathtaking. And now with Kodak filing for bankruptcy how long will film survive?
The Artist was a good love story as many old films are. It’s nominated for Best Picture, Best Director Michael Hazanavicius, Best Actor in a Leading Role for Jean Dujarden, Actress in a Supporting Role for Berenice Bejo, Best Cinematography for Guillaume Schiffman, Best Editing for Anne-SophieBion and Michael Hazanavicius, Best Art Direction and Costume Design.
I liked it.