The New Year’s Intertitle: 364 days worth of beauty

In case, God forbid, you spend the whole of 2012 not seeing anything beautiful — these should keep you going until 2013. This is a leap year, after all.

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17 Responses to “The New Year’s Intertitle: 364 days worth of beauty”

  1. Christopher Says:

    ..went and saw The Artist last night ,new years eve(silents and New Years go together)..I was really turned off by the trailers and the dancing build up in the ad campaign and thought that I might avoid this one ..But I was pleasantly surprised and delighted and charmed by actually seeing a plain old silent movie unreeling before my eyes.Its a real testimony to the art of silents that even in the 3D chicken nuggets generation,that a simple story told in silence with just the right music,can still captivate and mesmerize an audience..Bernard Herrmann’s “love music” cue from Vertigo was used effectively in a sad drawn out moody sequence toward the end..Original score was quite good and got better as the film went on..I’m glad I decided to see this..It was a one of a kind experience for sure.

  2. I’m looking forward to it — suddenly seems to be quite a lot on at the cinema — oh yeah, it’s Xmas!

  3. It’s NOT “a plain old silent movie.”

    Far from it.

    It’s a “silent movie” done in the style Debbie Reynolds parodied in Singin’ in the Rain when explaining to Gene Kelly why she didn’t like the movies.

  4. Christopher Says:

    One of the reasons,probably the main one ,that I thought I might skip The Artist was that they seemed to be trying to make you think “Singin’ In The Rain” with the trailer and the dancing business(which is blessedly brief)and that obnoxious overused and out of place ,Benny Goodman Sing Sing Sing music over the soundtrack(reminds me of Ragtime music for The Sting when the film was set in the early Swing era),but the text of the actual film itself began to work alot of the silent movie magic.Another gripe is,the silent movie body language wasn’t all there,the female lead tried to hard at times to be “cutesy”…I think ,even tho It was in color and set at present,Mel Brooks and crew did a better job of the body language and setting witty intertitles at just the right time,in his “SILENT MOVIE”…..

  5. I simply didn’t get to see a lot of the new movies at the end of the year, simply because they’ll come here next year.

    The last movie I saw this year was VERTIGO, thrilling and beautiful beyond words.

  6. And The Artist “samples” Bernard Herrmann’s Vertigo score!

    So typical of silent films to reference sound ones made decades later.

  7. At the MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL, there was a huge queue leading up to see THE ARTIST but I skipped it because I felt that it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. Felt it was the neo-Amelie. A French movie for people who don’t see French movies. Saw a lot of interesting stuff there.

    Including Akerman’s ALMAYER’S FOLLY, my best film of 2011. Really stunning film. One of her best. And of course Bela Tarr’s THE TURIN HORSE. Also liked Gus Van Sant’s RESTLESS which I felt was really underrated. And I got to meet Jerzy Skolimowski for two seconds. So pretty memorable, all said and done.

  8. It’s fun watching The Artist’s director field questions about the “bravery” of making a silent film. Obviously he simply realized that Americans would prefer to see a film with no talking than one where people speak French. And if you give it an American subject and cast a couple of American actors, who’s to know? The Weinsteins have been cutting together trailers for foreign movies with no dialogue in them except “Allo” for years, so this idea is tried and tested — his innovation was to make a film which would actually suit that kind of trailer.

    Cynicism over, I’m looking forward to it and hoping I like it. The music does seem sloppy though.

    My problem with Silent Movie was that it spent so much time doing textual jokes involving signs. Brooks is such a verbal guy it’s understandable, but that seemed like a missed opportunity (and those jokes were so off the spine of the plot). I do remember laughing a lot at the suits of armour…

  9. Wow, Arthur. It’s just you and me with something nice to say about Restless. That film wasn’t released — it escaped! You’d have to go all the way back to Second-Hand Hearts to find a less enthusiastic send-off.

  10. david wingrove Says:

    Arthur S – I swore I’d never see another Chantal Akerman movie after LA CAPTIVE (or was it NUIT ET JOUR?) but now you’ve sparked my curiosity.

    Have long been baffled by people’s efforts to film Joseph Conrad, who strikes me as impenetrable on the page, never mind on film. Then I saw Patrice Chereau’s majestic GABRIELLE, which struck me as a flat-out masterpiece – a thing very few recent films have done.

    As for Gus van Sant, I lose faith in him every time he has a mainstream hit (MILK, GOOD WILL HUNTING) but ‘rediscover’ him when he returns to his indie roots. I still think his best film is MALA NOCHE – made back in the 80s, when nobody had ever heard of him – so RESTLESS does sound promising.

  11. Hey I sure as hell had heard of him. That’s why the Los Angeles Film Critics Association gave it’s Indpendent/Experiemntal Award to Mala Noche. Gus said that award made it possible for Drugstore Cowboy to get financed — and thus his career was off and running. He has always given me credit for that. In fact at the press junket for Milk he said so to the entire cast.

    Restless Isn’t as experiemental as Gerry. I’d place it nearest to Paranoid Park, though on a lower rung.

  12. Well RESTLESS is one of the few really honest films about teenagers dealing with death and it has a Halloween scene comparable to MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. I always say that after Ray, Van Sant is the best film-maker of teenagers. And this film has Henry Hopper, son of Dennis. With all those crappy vampire films masking as teenage love stories, this film is a welcome respite.

    By the way, David E., the programmer of the international releases was Ian Birnie. We talked a lot about movies and stuff. He said he knew you. Say hi to him for me (real name Sudarshan Ramani) when you meet him next.

    Akerman has said that Almayer’s Folly has less to do with Conrad in terms of text and more to do with Murnau’s TABU in terms of influence. I haven’t read the book but it certainly feels Conradian. Cf, my piece on the film, available online here:
    http://www.projectorhead.in/five/almayers-folly.html
    And Akerman really gets a strong grasp on the interior nature of the book through her great images. Especially the final image, when you see it it will take your breath away.

  13. More to look forward to!

    I’m just back from seeing the new Mission Impossible, which I enjoyed a lot but it left me craving something…a little subtler.

  14. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech were two of my favourite films last year

  15. I couldn’t quite bring myself to risk the Allen — I’ve been hurt too many times! But Fiona went with my mum and they loved it, so I will catch up with it. I made a conscious choice to leave The King’s Speech for the small screen, where I reckon its merits will come across just as well, if not better.

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