The Artist

It has been so long ago that I have not written about a film. As one of the most noteworthy movies of the year “The Artist” demands respectable attention from its audience. Thinking about the historicity of things, so the history of film making is nothing new for us, especially when we think of Cindy Sherman, Joachim Koester or Simon Starling –of course at different directions but still about the history of filmic language. And from younger generation, let`s not forget Singapore-Berlin based artist Ming Wong with his remakes of Fassbinder, Polanski, Pasolini or Visconti movies or Ryan Trecartin as the Youtube-generation artist, who convinces us with the revolution of the audience, not a receiver but a performer: Broadcast Yourself!  

However the cinematographic atmosphere of the movie “The Artist”, and the artistic approach of the director Michel Hazanavicius fascinate me with the way it tells the story of the coming of sound to Hollywood via “A star is born” sort of plot that anyone can associate its contextual references with their personal memory of film history. The movie communicates with its viewer through the transformation of its filmic language, and regenerates the archetypical gestures on an ongoing performative sequence. Pure, fresh and thriving. The director reconstructs the traditional atmosphere of the silent movies –or musicals today in a story, which is also not about the film making and stage, but also acting and performing. Even you have never seen any silent movie before, it can transmit the physicality of its language and style. 

When we were watching it together, a friend asked me -what i do think- if the movie would have still worked if it would not be about silent movies, or taken place in that era, but a sort of contemporary story that takes place today -still in that form of film making –black and white, and silent… No idea! Maybe, this leads us another fruitful question of how we approach to the history, and we remember things within their representational forms... Of course, the real life was not in black and white, and the social life was not only composed of such mimics and gestures however how we attribute the reality to its perception of time, and what perception of reality means become another challenge here... 

I think, it is more important to note that Mr. Hazanavicius reformulates this critical question in such a simple form. He investigates how we approach to the history of modernity, and its visual codes in such a way that things are considered within their time frames in our minds. As a clever statement on film making, the movie takes us back in time by showing the transition between the silent movies and talkies. It is not a pastiche of how we imagine that era, but also a strong perspective of sound. 

So, the nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards; Oscars are just announced. Go, The Artist, go…

Here is a link for an interview with the director: