Saturday, 3 March 2012

in which i finally see The Artist

Artist
We were in Mayfair on Saturday evening and stopped off at the Curzon to see "The Artist". I know everyone else has seen it and it's won all of the prizes, but I was actually a little bit underwhelmed.

The lead actors were charming enough, the doggy was cute and the story was heavily signposted along the way with plenty of 'those bits' that you want to get from this type of film. It had clearly been made with some affection for the genre.

But I was waiting for it to add something, rather than being a very good copy with high fidelity music. Sure, there were a couple of scenes with (shock horror) sound, and some borrowed musical soundtrack too, but I couldn't help thinking I'd prefer to watch "Singin' in the rain" to get roughly this movie's plot line.

The other thing was the filming of the story. There was quite an art to some of the ways that people shot the old monochrome and I was expecting to see some of this in the film's tones. There's some of this done to good effect in the stills from the picture, but I felt that the main filming was fairly bland in nature rather than stylised - almost as if someone had just shot a colour film, desaturated it to a slight beige and then boosted the white on whoever was the star.

I know I'm in a minority here, but it isn't really a film I'd particularly want to see again, despite it winning so many awards.

9 comments:

Nikki-ann said...

There's not much point in me going to see this oen... A colleague kindly told me then ending after he'd been to see it!

rashbre said...

Nikki-ann Hmm - difficult. I suppose I wanted to see what all the praise was about.

Imaginography said...

I've not seen it yet but I will. I'm interested now from a photography point of view too. I see so many B&W stills where contrast and brightness don;t seem to be controlled properly and from what you say, it's the case here too. Pity.

rashbre said...

Imaginography Its strange I was aware I was looking at the filming right from the opening credits.

There's some moments in it where some clever lighting or film effects have been used, but I thought overall it didn't have a really strong mono feel - which seems weird as its in black and white.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I don't think they were really trying to make it look like a Silent Film from that era---I mean, I don't think the goal was to be exactly like a real true Silent Film.....
I enjoyed it and thought it was quite delightful BUT, I never would have picked it for "BEST PICTURE" or anything else "BEST"...except I did love that darling little dog, Uggie....! He should have been "BEST" Dog!

Accidental Londoner said...

I think I agree - a nice, easy to watch film but nothing ground-breaking, and probably not worth a Best Oscar award. Ah, the novelty factor, eh?

rashbre said...

Naomi I agree with you on the 'delightful' - there was certainly a charm to the two lead characters. I could almost see the sparkle from the smiles and the eyes.

But...

I suppose I'd expected it to have a stronger point of view about something, based upon the way it could look back at the era.

rashbre said...

Accidental Londoner My main surprise was the degree of buzz it created compared with the storyline. I wonder how it would have done in 'in the era'?

Ellie said...

I haven't seen it. I know I will, but not on the big screen. It just doesn't compell me.