film review

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The Artist starts at the premier of a new movie called A Russian Affair. George Valentin, who’s movie is premiering is at the event, and is elated by all of the love he getting from the crowd. Amongst the crows you see Al Zimmer, his producer, his most treasured friend, Jack the dog, and aspiring actress Peppy Miller. Peppy is there, hoping she will bump into George her life will change forever. They have a moment on the red carpet when she drops her pocketbook and ends up right in front of the cameras, leaving them asking who’s that girl, instead of what’s that movie. George and Peppy meet again, but this time after she has just nailed her audition, but needs his help to get her the job. They shoot the movie together, but during shooting, their chemistry gets in the way. They have another moment in George’s dressing room, when he draws a beauty mark on her and they stare into each other’s eyes.

 All of a sudden, their romance is on the decline because Peppy’s movie credits are soaring, and George’s are going downhill. Because of this, the power dynamic in their relationship is of kilter and George’s ego is getting severely bruised. Zimmer goes to George and introduces the idea of sound films to him, but he just laughs it off and doesn’t take it seriously. He then has a nightmare that everything around him is in sound, but he’s not able to speak a word. Peppy Miler becomes the new face of Kinograph studios, Zimmer’s studio. George is jealous and done with not being the star anymore, so he decided to go rogue and decides to write, star, and produce in his own silent film. He decided to have it premier the same date as Peppy’s new film, which is a talkie. This decision ended up being one of the worst decisions he has made, as it leads to a slew of unfortunate events. He hears Peppy saying that he’s washed up, the stock market crashes, he goes bankrupt, his wife leaves him, it rains all the time, and to top it off, he moves out of his mansion into a smaller home. 

Peppy goes to visit George to try and right he wrongs, but he just drowns his sorrows in whisky. he also fires his chauffeur, clifton. Peppy also secretly buys all of George’s prized possessions in an auction. George becomes extremely bitter and even starts going mad. He sets fire to his apartment, and Jack the dog saves him. Luckily, Peppy takes George home from the hospital, and he was clutching the film reel of their movie together. On the set of Peppy’s movie, she blackmails Zimmer into giving George another chance. He discovers many of his painting and sculptures in one of Peppy’s room’s. George feels emasculated and wanders around town and encounters a policeman who he can’t hear speak and is very confused by this. Peppy goes home and realizes George is not there and goes to find him. She finds him with a gun in his hand. He is clearly contemplating suicide. When George sees her, he snaps out of his coma like state and agrees to let Peppy help him. You have to watch the movie to see what the end result is.. but trust me it is definitely worth watching. 

This film definitely follows the Classic Hollywood Narrative style as it has characters who have a problem, they try to solve the problem, and end up solving the problem throughout the plot. The filmmaker chose to have this film be in black and white, which was a great choice, as the film is all about silent films versus talkies and it added to the ambiance of the film and the tone of it, as well as the plot. Unlike the lighting and sound in this film, the editing is very contemporary and is very sharp and has much more depth than early movies did. This film fits into the genre of silent film-drama. This movie is not like any other I have seen as it is back and white, and silent, but the camera work is extremely contemporary. For me, it is in it’s own genre, and has started a new genre for films of a contemporary silent film. This film made me have a new appreciation for silent films. I am usually not a big fan of them, as I get uninterested, but this film kept me engaged. 

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