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This week's Culture Vultures recommend . . .

The Arbor, The Artist, and Fringe

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The Artist
  • The Artist

Ron Falzone, director, screenwriter, and associate professor at Columbia College, revels in:

The Artist Michel Hazanavicius's black-and-white silent film is a delight for what it isn't. His earlier OSS 117 spy movies were entertaining Bond spoofs, so of course I expected a similar take on the silent era. The Artist, though, carefully avoids spoofing its subject. Here, Hazanavicius's love of the genre is conveyed through affectionate respect.

Spoofs are constructed so that we the viewers can pat ourselves on the back for getting the references. In The Artist, characters and scenes are constructed through actions that create a direct emotional appeal to the audience. We respond openly to the exploits of George and Peppy (and especially the irrepressible terrier, Uggie). We don't stand back and observe these characters as we would in a spoof. We are seduced in the way silent cinema was always capable of seducing us: through our heart, not our head. Get out of yours and have a wonderful time.

Related Film

Director: Clio Barnard

Producer: Tracy O'Riordan

Cast: Christine Bottomley, Neil Dudgeon, Manjinder Virk, Robert Emms and Natalie Gavin

Related Film

Official Site:

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Producer: Thomas Langmann, Daniel Delume, Antoine De Cazotte and Richard Middleton

Cast: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller and Missi Pyle

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