OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

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new management will take over the space and offer big-screen wonderfulness again.

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The Artist

Best of the ByTowne!

Book Tickets Now

Silent films at the ByTowne? Sure, why not, especially when it's this much fun!


Begone snobs! The Artist is most out-and-out joyous film of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, a valentine to the glories of silent cinema, a triumph of artistic teleportation, pure effervescence that gives crowdpleasing a good name. And winner of the Oscar for Best Picture, no less!
 
Poster art for The ArtistJean Dujardin plays George Valentin, a dashing and rather arrogant actor whose dynamic, swashbuckling roles in films such as A Russian Affair and A German Affair have made him a huge star of the pre-talkie era. But he’s caught off-guard by the arrival of sound: ‘If that’s the future, you can have it!’ His roles dry up, his wife leaves him, and a move into directing – with Tears Of Love (Hazanavicius and screenwriter Jean-Claude Grumberg have great fun naming their fake films) – doesn’t work out.
 
All he has left is his Jack Russell terrier and his memories of the delightfully named Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). She’s the all-smiling, high-stepping would-be actress with whom he’d fallen in love even before her career went into overdrive. Now that he’s yesterday’s news, a relic of an abandoned art form, will Peppy still remember him? Does she still carry a flame for him?
 
The Artist is not a film that thinks it’s superior to the movies it evokes. Hazanavicius has evidently immersed himself in the silent period, seeing in it liberation rather than restriction: he’s in love with its melodramatic intensity, its lack of irony, the importance it places on lighting and photography. Cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman, drawing on deathless classics such as Murnau’s City Girl, makes black and white look wonderfully warm rather than austere. Ludovic Bource’s score is charming and amplified by two exquisitely clever breaks in the film’s otherwise complete eschewal of natural sounds.
 
Dujardin and Bejo excel together, reining in any desire to compensate for their lack of dialogue by exaggerating the physicality of their roles. Hazanavicius himself is wise enough not to stuff the screenplay with lots of dialogue just to placate audiences unused to watching silent; the intertitles are kept to a minimum. By the end, it’s all you can do not to cheer on the seemingly star-crossed lovers and not to sigh about how they don’t make films like this anymore. Except, of course, Hazanavicius just has.
Sukhdev Sandhu, The Daily Telegraph
 

George Valentin est une vedette du cinéma muet à qui tout sourit. L’arrivée des films parlants va le faire sombrer dans l’oubli. Peppy Miller, jeune figurante, va elle, être propulsée au firmament des stars. Ce film raconte l’histoire de leurs destins croisés, ou comment la célébrité, l’orgueil et l’argent peuvent être autant d’obstacles à leur histoire d’amour.”

Warner Bros. France 


 

Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo in The ArtistÀ Hollywood en 1927, l’arrivée des films parlants perturbe sérieusement la carrière de George Valentin, immense vedette du cinéma muet.
 
La réussite de The Artist, un film aussi délicieux qu’anachronique, est à la hauteur du pari – très casse-gueule – que s’est lancé le réalisateur des comédies OSS 117. « Ce film est né d’une envie de faire purement du cinéma, a expliqué Michel Hazanavicius. Les cinéastes que j’admire proviennent presque tous de l’époque du muet. J’ai plongé sans savoir si j’étais capable de tenir ce pari ou pas. À l’époque où l’histoire est campée, le cinéma était encore très jeune. Il y avait de ma part une réelle volonté d’éviter le pastiche. Comme un film populaire qu’on aborde au premier degré. De là découlent tous mes choix de mise en
scène. » Ayant fait sensation à Cannes, le film a valu à Jean Dujardin le prix d’interprétation masculine. 
Marc-André Lussier, Le Droit
 
 

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