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Seen this afternoon at the Hyde Park Picture House with ms_siobhan and planet_andy. I'll keep my notes on it short, as I've got a looming deadline, so can't spare much time or brain-juice for non-work writing at the moment. But I enjoyed it hugely and can highly recommend it.

Obviously we all know the crack for this film - that it's a careful pastiche of a 1920s silent movie. And so it is, and it does that beautifully, capturing all the motifs and devices of the era, all the while tipping the audience a knowing wink about what it is doing. We see a great deal of the business of film-viewing and film-making, both literally through the developments of the plot, but also more allusively through the use of paintings, photographs, screens, mirrors, windows etc. Similarly, the mannered use of the silent movie genre very obviously renders every reference to sound and / or silence heavily significant, and an enormous amount is done with this throughout the film - though I won't spoil it by saying exactly what

I wasn't 100% sure about the gender politics of the main romance plot. The older male character starts out as a hero of silent films, but then wrecks his own career by refusing to make the move into talkies, enters a downward spiral of debt and booze, and ends up in half-dead in hospital - and yet the young bright rising female star is still supposed to think he is worth rescuing from his own idiocy. Then again, though, she does get to build up a dazzlingly successful career entirely in her own right, be independently-motivated and self-assured throughout the movie and - yeah - rescue the poor little gentleman in distress at the end. So maybe it's not so bad.

I'm not surprised everyone has been raving about the little dog, but actually I liked everyone in this movie, including John Goodman, whom I normally avoid like the plague. As for the dresses, sets, finger-waves, cinema palaces etc - oh yeah, baby! Everything I was hoping for. :-)

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ms_siobhan
Jan. 15th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
I think it was almost a lesson in how to stalk someone, buy all their belongings and get with them in the end anyway :-)
strange_complex
Jan. 15th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, true. When he stormed out of her house after finding all the stuff she'd bought, my main thought was "Yes, damn right! Get the hell out of the creepy palace of creep!"
ms_siobhan
Jan. 15th, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
Indeed, I liked the dog and the chauffeur best I think and all the clips of the cinemas. I also really loved the scene where Valentin poured whisky on his mirrored table.
danieldwilliam
Jan. 17th, 2012 12:10 pm (UTC)
My take on Peppy’s (sp) relationship with The Artist was a little more benign.

He gave her her first break so she feels she owes him a bit. They have a professional and social (perhaps romantic) spark when they first meet. She admires his work.

When’s she in a position to do him a good turn she does so.

As for buying all his stuff - I took that to be a neat way for her to pass him some cash without him knowing and I think she was holding it for him against the day when he was back on his feet and could buy it out of hock from her (as he was unable to do with the more commercial pawn broker to whom he pawned his iconic tails).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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