Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Artist

I'm looking forward to the Oscars Sunday night. It feels like a foregone conclusion that The Artist is going to dominate, and that's fine with me. I saw it a couple weeks ago, and I've been thinking about it quite a bit ever since.

I've seen the word "charming" frequently used to describe The Artist, and that's spot-on, it is charming.

It's also a great metaphor for the times.

The protagonist of The Artist, George Valentin, is a silent film star when technological advancement turns his world upside down.

The film industry is facing a similar time of great change.

The digital revolution is changing a lot of things, and movies are not immune. I can see a day where the overwhelming majority of movies are released online, streamed immediately at home or on mobile devices, movie theaters a thing of the past, much like their drive-thru brethren. I'm not exactly sure how that might affect the economics of movies, but I have a feeling many people involved in film are unsure what the future holds for their industry.

The Artist perfectly captures that feeling of uncertainty. Taking the analogy even further, the digital world changes things for a lot of people. What are the jobs of the future going to be? And will there be one for me? George Valentin found a way to adapt, and that, to me, is the theme of The Artist. Despite huge changes, creative people will find a way to adapt.

So yes, The Artist is charming. And yes, Jean Dujardin is a fine dancer.

The Artist resonates for me because it comments on the future by showing us the past. That's not easy to do, in any art form.


  1. Haven't seen it yet, but everyone has good things to say about it. I find it kind of comforting that a low-key movie like this, and a no thrills singer like Adele who just stand there and sings, are getting so much attention. Almost feels like we're moving toward valuing substance again. Almost. :)

  2. I loved this movie so much. I reviewed it yesterday on my blog and I found the whole theme on "out with the old and in with the new" and the theme of how overwhelming pride and vanity can be very destructive as powerful reflections of the things I see in America.

  3. Hah! My predictions for this movie's great reviews came true!

  4. No! I can't imagine the demise of the big screen! I can't wait to see this movie--though I think it's probably too late to see it in a theatre. And I'm afraid you may be right, the movie theatre may soon become a thing of the past. They sure don't pack them in like they used to.

    Thanks for the video, too. Loved it!

  5. Wow, I hadn't thought of that, but yeah we went to the theater and spent $40 and it wasn't even that great an experience. Then just rented a new release from Amazon Video for $2.99 in the comfort of our own home. We certainly are headed more towards what you described.