Monday, December 19, 2011

What is filmed in black and white and nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture? A film called The Artist. Yes a lot of people are talking about a movie where there is not any talking. A new silent movie here in 2001. Ironically the movie is about the arrival of sound in movie making.
How does the Douglas Fairbanks like main character Jean Dujardin describe dancing and an animated persona throughout the film with out us hearing it happening? He announces that he is too much an Artist to speak. It is a fun picture. It is a goof on the vocabulary of film. An already famous scene is where the female lead played by Berenice Bejo adoringly cuddles up to the man’s jacket and has a romantic thought with the jacket. Certainly different from the blatant sexual comedies we have seen lately.
Most of this silent film dwells on the male leads struggles with alcoholism and bankruptcy. The rise of his prodigy is a rising actress who is featured throughout the movie. If nothing else this movie takes us back to a time when you had to pay attention at the movies. You had to read one’s expressions and look at the details to know what is to happen next.
There is another silent film out this holiday season that is very different from the black and whiteness of The Artist. This one is in 3D and in color and is full of excitement . It is called Hugo, a film made by the famous award winning director Martin Scorsese. The movie is about a real life magician’s story at the turn of the century who began to film stage shows and then moved on to make really interesting short films like of all things , “A Trip To The Moon.” Imagine their effort to do special effects then.
There is great 3D scenes of a old time locomotive train pulling up that in earlier days really scared people at the movies. It is a story about a boy, the orphaned Hugo who lives behind the train station’s walls. It is a cross between a simple story about a child’s longing for human contact and the adventure of all the 3D energy persistent throughout the movie.
Hugo feels like it is a film about magic instead of being a magical film. Either way you wont be seeing any movies about weddings gone wrong or bachelor parties or remakes of superheroes or anything that you have seen lately. Both films are refreshing and new.

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