Analysis Of The Movie ' The Artist ' Essay

Analysis Of The Movie ' The Artist ' Essay

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The Artist is a delicately crafted love letter to the era of silent film. Hazanavicius managed to blend the traditional and the contemporary, a challenging endeavor, which the lead character of the film himself struggles with. In the ever-evolving world of art, creators are forced to adapt, or risk fading into obscurity. Technology may seem to be the antithesis of tradition, but as proven both by the plot of the movie and its technical execution, they are both necessary in creating a truly revolutionary work of art. In this film, George represents the traditional. He is the beloved silent film star, a household name, who resists change and loses everything. Peppy, his counterpart, embraces the “talkies”. It’s this modern open-mindedness that paves the way for her stardom.
In order to fully commit to the silent film aesthetic, The Artist was shot at 22 frames per second, the typical speed used for films shot before the introduction of sound. Hazanavicius also chose to adopt the Academy aspect ratio that was used in in the 1930-1950s (1.37:1). Aside from these aspects, the cinematography is relatively modern. The camera moves about freely, something that would have been next to impossible in 1932, and cuts occur more frequently than would have been typical. Hazanavicius does employ some era-appropriate editing choices, primarily with his use of both double exposure, and iris-wiping. The film itself was shot on colour stock, and was only altered to black and white in post production, in order to have further control over the final effect. Instead of recycling vintage equipment, Hazanavicius used 21st century tools in order to emulate 20th century effects, in an extremely effective manner. The result of this dedicated attention to...


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...ring film to life in ways never before seen. There are always going to be people who are resistant to change in any capacity, claiming that the original way is the best way to do something, that “tried and true” trumps the cutting-edge, but in an exponentially growing field it is necessary to take risks. Without a willingness to explore and experiment, nothing new would ever be created. This does not mean all traditional methods are inherently inferior, on the contrary, Hazanavicius goes to great lengths to convey that “old” and “new” are best together. It is possible to draw inspiration from, or to create an homage to, something without disrespecting the original source. The final scene of the movie epitomizes this, as Peppy and George dance together in Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers-esque tap number. A seamless balance of old and new, traditional and contemporary.

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