Monday, February 27, 2012

Opening Remarks and The Artist

Hello movie goers, my name is Lucy Higgins and I am a college senior  studying communications: television and radio with a minor in film and media studies.  Originally when I came to college, I did not expect to be minoring in film but after taking a film class my freshman year, I realized that I should study film and turn my love into a possible career.  At school, I have been able to take a lot of film classes with different topics like Film Music; Law, Literature, and Film; Film Memory; and American Artists in Film.  Through these courses I have gained a great love for film and have started to watch a lot of films that I would have never considered watching before I had taken film classes.  Some of my favorite films that I have watched at school have include Rear Window, Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Mystic River, and Psycho.  Without a doubt, since taking film classes, I have fallen in love with Alfred Hitchcock as a director.  I love his style and all of the stories of the films are very entertaining and keep me at the edge of my seat in the classroom.  These films and directors that I have been introduced to have helped blossom the way I watch film and also inspired me when I am producing and directing my own student films that I produce at school. 

 This past weekend, I went and saw the film The Artist directed by Michel Hazanavicius. This film was brilliantly done from the beginning to end and was a pleasure to sit through in the movie theater.  At the movie theater I attended they were only showing two films being The Artist and The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep.  Normally I would go see any Meryl movie because I absolutely love the way she acts because she is so diverse and can truly act in any role, but I went against my normal choice and picked The Artist.  The director was able to capture the essence and magic of what silent films can capture and also what these films were like when they first came out.  From the beginning of the film I got the sense that this was a treat instead of just another movie that I would see any other time.  Sometimes I wish when I watch films like The Artist that I could go back to a time when films were starting out so I could live during the time period when going and seeing a film was an event and the processes of movie making and the stars where the big news in everyday life.  The Artist, I believe, captures what it used to be like for the audience, movie stars, and directors of silent films in this time and what it was like for them when film was changing from silent to talkies.  I believe today that most films rest of the laurels onsound effect and the spectacular use of digital effects to maintain their audience’s attention.  This however takes away from the message and the shot composition of the film because people who go to the movies today are just looking for the new effect or the new 3D movie which is going to wow them. 
The Artist was able to wow me unlike any other film that I have seen recently because of the shot composition that the director chose because they were all cleverly thought out.  The one scene that sticks into my mind the most is when George Valentin is leaving the production studio offices and heading down the stairs.  The shot reveals the different levels of stairs going up and down and each floor.   Nothing is obstructing your view from seeing what is going on in the building.  It made me think this is what it would look like if you were looking at the stairs through a glass window or wall.  This scene also reminded me of one of my favorite films Rear Window, and its shot composition of the buildings where the main character views all of his neighbors.  Michel Hazanavicius was able to create a very visually appealing movie that I enjoyed and would recommend anyone to go and see.

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