The Artist

PG-13 for glitzy special effects, shameless commercialism, blatant pandering to the black-and-white-silent-film-loving masses


In the movie industry, art and business must always compromise. “I want to make a lucrative film called Independence Day where the White House blows up,” says business. “Fine,” says art, “but you must include a dog leaping away from a fireball just in the nick of time. It’s called character.” And through such compromises, great cinema is born.

But then, along comes a crass, thinly veiled box office ploy like The Artist.

Has our culture’s level of distraction grown so great that it takes 100 dialogue-free minutes to hold our attention? What happened to the simple pleasures of seeing a planet explode, or watching robots crawl out of the moon? Have we lost patience for honest-to-God storytelling in which people switch bodies or conspire to kill their bosses? Why do we now insist upon the glamour and dazzle of a black-and-white film, when not so long ago, we were satisfied with the timeless drama of watching sexy twenty-somethings being eaten by a shark?

Puzzle of the Day: Other than the Star Wars sequels and Matrix prequels, what movies would be improved by removing the dialogue?

3 thoughts on “The Artist

  1. Pingback: Movie Things We Loved | PG-13 for Ugly Cast

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