Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Shame of the Artist.

Shame and The Artist

Right...Before I upset the whole world I have to say that I thought The Artist was a very good film.

I don't feel I'm part of the club that is praising the film as a masterpiece, everybody is gushing about the films greatness and perfection, if anyone criticises that view than you will be derided as being heartless or a philistine.
I have a big heart; it’s the heart that fell in love with Hugo, a film that had much more magic.

The Artist has put me in a strange position.
A film I like but a film I feel I have to speak against even tough I liked it because I don't understand the talk of ovations and awards.

Either I'm a snob (quite possibly), I'm missing something, There’s a Emperors new clothes mentality going around and its spread very fast or I'm an idiot (highly likely).

The 2 films I have been looking forward to the most for a long time have been The Artist and Shame.

One of them has excelled my expectations and one of them didn't.

I don't think it’s a case of over hyping the films in mind.
It may be a case of over thinking.
I don't think its brave to release a silent movie.
If it was a French film that had been subtitled and released to a mainstream audience it may have been a brave release.
I'm sure it’s helped the American market. I wouldn't want to say it was a gimmick but it’s definitely helped to sell a black and white French film. I can't wait for the American remake with sound...and in colour, maybe 3D?

I'm not saying I'm an expert of Silent cinema but I have read about the early days of film and seen many stunning silent films over the years and I feel that The Artist doesn't fit right.
It has a very modern look and was filmed in colour then treated as Monochrome.
It jumps several styles of cinema in different scenes, which is jarring.
I've read that it’s merely a pastiche of early cinema but if you are being so brave why not go the whole hog? I feel the films of Guy Maddin are brave but there is no way his films will get to a level to pack out cinemas and receive so much press attention.
I feel upset that I'm not watching the film and getting back what everyone else is.
It doesn't capture my heart, I really couldn’t connect with the characters and felt like something was missing and it certainly wasn't the sound.
Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo give enjoyable performances but I didn't get pulled in, the last 15mins did work for me and the final scene bought a tear so it managed to affect me on some level.
I watched The Artist again, this time in a projection booth. I've always wanted to watch a film in a projection booth since I was a little boy and it did feel magical but I'm not sure it helped to improve the film.
I will watch it again and hopefully I will join you pod people in my undivided love of the film.

I may even say, "As close to perfection as a film can ever really be" but I doubt it.

Shame isn't the good to the bad.
I don't want to say that, they are totally different films.
It is a masterpiece though. I have watched it twice and it gets better.
I found a lot more humour in the second viewing.
Don't think of it as a dirty sex film because it isn't.
It’s a day in the life. No explanation, no revelation, it just is.

I feel that Steve McQueen is one of the most important filmmakers that we have today and he has the potential to be our next Nic Roeg.
Art, great performances and non-linear story telling.

Shame is a film of silence, loneliness the very human ability not to connect.

McQueen and Abi Morgan’s excellent script is a story of New York, a city at best when the sun goes down. Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan are stunning.
I look forward to seeing them in films as I know they are going to give a performance with life. They do not disappoint here.
The framing in the film is superb.
Fassbender is usually shown at the edge of the frame, out of touch, lone.
Important conversations are shot from behind.
The date scene in the restaurant perfectly capture the nerves of the couple going on their first date as well as the nerves of their waiter. It feels honest.
Steve Mc Queen has said that this film is not reality.
I feel this hints towards Fassbender's character that maybe not all sexual encounters, stares and understandings are actually happening and may be fantasies.
In a further move to upset more people, I feel that the film isn't really that sexually explicit.
There is little sex in the film considering its subject matter.
It’s the story of a normal man.
It’s a story that asks more questions than answers, its your interpretation that matters.
It’s a great film.

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