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Post details: The Artist

The Artist

Silent movie winning the Best Picture at the 2012 Oscars. Who would have thought?

What kind of deviously twisted mind could have come up with the idea of resurrecting an old fashioned black and white flick in the age of new fashioned digitized spectacles brimming with real time 3D computer simulations? Whoever it was must have been aware of the old Russian proverb "New is something that has long been forgotten". People dig for new fads all the time. The whole history of art is but a search for that new angle. Utilizing dialogue free narrative makes you peek where no one has peeked before, or rather where no one has peeked for quite some time.

They say that people who lose one of their senses become more sensitive and alert to the stimuli of the other ones. Every now and then, it pays to submit your creative outlets to the restrictive discipline of an old form. You never know what hidden treasures may be brought to light in such rendering. Shooting a movie without colors and without a dialogue certainly emphasizes aspects of film making that we customarily overlook.

The Artist is a motion picture in its deepest sense. It is a picture in motion - a flaunting cascade of studies in intensity. In the barrage of recent movies trying to outeffect each other, the Artist is an unexpected oasis suddenly materializing amid the never ending dunes of silicon graphics. A well orchestrated masterpiece of life harking back to days when cinematography was a craft rather than a visualization experiment.

Director Michel Hazanavicius pampers our artsy buds with finely assembled visual picnic - freshly baked bread of action, earthy wines of pantomime and assorted fruit baskets of sentimentality - all neatly spread out on the blanket of the silver screen. Tiptoeing along the fragile border between smile and laughter, he unearths troves of long forgotten jewels from the abandoned mine of facial expressions. So much so that one could easily talk about a major emotion picture. From the beginning to the end, the movie flows smoothly like a small submarine tracking the unfolding plot only indirectly through the periscope of title cards. Sometimes poetic in a sublime way, sometimes a little tongue in cheek, but always carrying a specific nuance to its final destination in the eye of the beholder. And actually a little bit beyond - through the sluice of the optical nerve onto the wide ocean of our imagination.

And there it rests its case.

When I left the theater, I had an uncanny feeling for a few minutes that I am now myself part of a motion picture. The whole world turned into one giant decoration. My journey to the parking lot seemed to be split into several long takes, people passing us on the way out seemed like extras, I almost felt the need to start touching things to make sure they are three dimensional. But it was just an echo of the Artist splashing in my mind like water in a bath tub carried across a long stretch of rugged desert.


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