Before going to watch The Artist last Wednesday with one of my best girls, the last time I’d actually sat in a cinema to see a film was in Cuba, where the entry fee was so low you can’t even count it in pence. So apart from what seems like a great expense, (you know, if you can sign up for LoveFilm or the like for a month for around the same price as a ticket) it seems such an effort when you’re busy to faff with pre-booking and arriving a wee bit early, and not being able to pause it to make a cup of tea, when in this internet age we’ve got more movies, music and t.v shows at our fingertips than we would ever have the lifespan to watch.
But. If ever there was a film that celebrates going to the cinema, and should be seen in full, velvet seated glory, it’s this one.
More or less utterly silent, The Artist has a relatively simple storyline and follows the fortunes of George Valentin, a silent movie star, and Peppy, an up-and-coming ingénue. Cleverly referencing Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Citizen Kane and A star is born along with casting and effects that call to mind Gene Kelly and Errol Flynn, you don’t actually have to ever have watched a silent film or know anything at all about the history of cinema* to enjoy it. In fact, it’s worth seeing simply for the breathtaking detail in costuming and set design.
Without going into the plot in too much depth, I’ll say that The Artist deals with themes of love, loss and redemption in silence more adroitly than many dialogue heavy ‘classic’ films, and that the two leads are completely mesmerising.
Has anyone else seen The Artist? Is anybody now obsessed with cloche hats? Let us know what you thought of it and as always, if you’ve seen a film you’d like to review for FF drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
* I can pick an Errol Flynn reference better than most because he was born in the house next door to the student digs we rented at uni. This is the level of specialist knowlege we like to bring you here at FF 😉