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Monday, August 27, 2012

September Film Club: The Artist

Hello everyone, September is upon us and with it comes another film.  For next month's Film Club we will be watching the Academy Award winning film:

The Artist directed by Michel Hazanavicius.

The Artist is a 2011 French romantic comedy-drama film in the style of a black and white silent film.  The film was written and directed Michel Hazanavicius and stars Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo.  The story takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932, and focuses on the relationship of an older silent film start and a rising young actress as silent cinema falls out of fashion and is replaced by "talkies".  In 1927, silent film star George Valentin is posing for pictures outside the premiere of his latest hit film, A Russian Affair, when a young woman, Peppy Miller, accidentally bumps into him.  Valentin reacts with humor to the accident and shows off Peppy for the cameras.  The next day, Peppy finds herself on the front page of Variety with the headline "Who's that Girl?"  Later, Peppy auditions as a dancer and is spotted by Valentin, who insists that she have a part in Kinograph studio's next production, despite objections from the studio boss, Al Zimmer.  While performing a scene together, Valentin and Peppy show great chemistry, despite her being merely an extra.  With a little guidance from Valentin (he draws a beauty spot on her, which will eventually be her trademark, after finding her in his dressing room), Peppy slowly rises through the industry, earning more prominent roles.

The Artist received strongly positive reviews from critics and won many accolades.  Dujardin won the Best Actor Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where the film premiered.  It was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five including Best Picture, Best Director for Hazanavicius, and Best Actor for Dujardin, who was the first French actor ever to win for Best Actor.  It was the first French film to ever win Best Picture, and the first mainly silent film to win since 1927's Wings and Sunrise won best picture awards at the 1st Academy Awards in 1929.  The Artist currently holds a 98% certified "Fresh" rating on the aggregate review site

I saw The Artist in theatre when it finally saw release, and when the end credits began to roll I knew at once I had just seen the best picture of the year.  Needless to say, the Academy agreed.  Come on out to see this wonderful celebration of film, this beautiful homage to the glorious Silent Era, this fantastic piece of cinematic joy.  You will not want to miss it!

Film Club will meet Thursday, Sept. 20th at 6:15pm

Here's the trailer:

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