New Silent Cinema

2011_the artist

Slightly over a year ago, after Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist came home with a Best Picture win and accomplished the unlikely feat of becoming a $100+ million worldwide hit, observations hit the web (ranging from hopeful to snarky) speculating whether or not the critical and financial success of this film would bring about a trend of new silent filmmaking. That the film’s gimmick seemed anathema to any marketing department’s formula for success stood as a provocation to an ever recycling Hollywood, declaring: if you revisit winning formulas, why not this one? Of course, few genuinely expected such a trend to actually come to fruition.  In February 2012, David Denby wrote: “We should be happy that The Artist exists at all, of course. Even after being nominated for ten Oscars and winning numerous awards from critics’ groups and the guilds, the film still seems arbitrary—one of those freaks of idealism which sometimes occur in the movies.” Even after the seeming silent-throwback double bill of The Artist and Hugo, Denby can only imagine a silent film resurgence happening in repertory form: a new emerging interest in old classics rather than an opportunity for new filmmakers to experiment with older forms of cinematic expression. But silent cinema has made something of a soft but notable and innovative return subsequent to The Artist – it just didn’t quite happen in the way we expected. Both Miguel Gomes’s Tabu from Portugal and Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves from Spain were recognized as their respective countries’ official selections […]

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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