The Artist Silent Film

December 5, 2011 by staff 

The Artist Silent Film, When French director Michel Hazanavicius dared to imagine creating a silent film in the modern arena of filmmaking – one littered with 3-D and special effects and plenty of post-production technical tricks – everyone wanted to know: Why?

For Hazanavicius, this was an odd question. Why not ask “how”?

“I realized that people needed a justification for doing a silent movie,” he told the Daily News in a phone interview. “That’s why I finally chose to really use that and make a silent movie.

“The format attracted me first. The story came afterward. Telling the story of a silent actor in the silent era of Hollywood in a way seemed to make sense in the silent film itself.”

“The Artist,” a black-and-white romantic drama that harkens back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, has quickly gone from being an obscure French flick to a – no pun intended – quiet contender in the big leagues, receiving critical acclaim at Sundance and the Cannes Film Festival, among others.

Just last month, the film was even heralded as the Best Film of 2011 by the New York Film Critics Circle, and Hazanavicius was welcomed into the upper echelon of Hollywood’s greatest directors with his Best Director nod, an honor that seals him into an elite group that includes Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle and Woody Allen.

“There was a lot to work against,” the director said of his initial uncertainty about the film’s reception. “It’s black and white, it’s silent, it’s French.”

But it was a reliance on raw emotion and acting in its most basic form that really defined the piece.

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