Sunday, December 9, 2012

Silent Running

I knew of course, that The Artist (2011) was a black-and-white silent film, but I hadn't realized that it was a silent film about talkies. Brilliant!

Although I am aware that this film won an Oscar, the reason we watched was for the team of director Michel Hazanavicius and star Jean Dujardin, who we loved in the OSS 117 films, Cairo and Rio. As in those films, they weave a mixture of detailed reproduction, loving tribute and biting spoof of their genre, in this case, showbiz pictures of the silent era.

Dujardin plays a Douglas Fairbanks-like silent films star. Like Fairbanks, he swashes buckle and laughs, ha ha! He encourages pretty callow ingenue Berenice Bejo as Peppy Miller. With the coming of sound, she prospers while he descends into obscurity, poverty and alcoholism. The old story.

We also get John Goodman as a bigshot producer, James Cameron as Dujardin's loyal servant and a lovable  Jack Russell terrier. Completely enjoyable. And there's a boffo ending!


mr. schprock said...

I was totally unaware that James Cameron was the servant! I guess I'll have to watch it again now.

Beveridge D. Spenser said...

I'm pretty sure it's James Cameron - He's the guy from Babe, not the director, right?