Monday, 27 February 2012

the Artist's the winner

”The Oscar goes to... the Artist!”
Tonight, for the first time in more than eighty years a
silent movie won five Oscar statuettes at the
Hollywood's Kodak Theatre 'Academy Awards' ceremony.
It's simply astounding how in the digital era of computer
generated effects, dynamic surround sound and 3-D
a silent, square-framed black & white movie 
could be so highly rewarded.

The drop-dead gorgeous French silent movie by
Michel Hazanavicius is quite a visual masterpiece
about the wonders of filmmaking, a beautifully
made romance teaching moreover a fantastic lesson
of style with amazing replicas of upscale clothing
of the end of the 1920s. The era of Prohibition,
speakeasies and charleston is actually part of
a broader dewy-eyed trend currently spreading
out on both sides of the ocean which is emphasized
by Woody Allen's and Martin Scorsese's latest
movies or by the 'Broadwalk Empire' and 'Downtown
Abbey' tv series, not to mention the nth remake of
Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby'.

The movie had already won hands down big prizes
such as Best Actor at Cannes for Jean Dujardin
(even the unofficial Palme D'og canine trophy for Uggy, 
the scene-thief Jack Russel terrier) and six
César Awards in Paris on last Friday night for best
picture, director, cinematography, score, art direction
and actress for Bérénice Bejo, the Argentine-French
film star who received the Oscar nomination 
for best supporting actress.

Hope you enjoy the bewitching black & white images
from the multi-awarded movie with photography by
Guillaume Schiffman and costumes by Mark Bridges
under the artistic direction of Gregory S. Hooper
that are too good to be true.
Those were the days of the flappers wearing
sleeveless, full skirts 'robe de style' dresses or
boyish step-in panties with cloche hats 
and veils, bob cuts and pearls.

I'm amazed at how a silent, b/w movie could be golden
once again and how much today's audience attunes to
its language (to tell the truth in Liverpool a few people
asked their money back after ten minutes claiming that
they weren't properly advised of the movie's muteness)

astonishingly proving that a good story doesn't necessarily 
needs colors nor dialogue. Simplement fantastique.

all images © La Petite Reine-La Classe Américaine
Jouror Productions-UFILM-France 3 Cinéma-Studio 37, 2011

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