The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

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Rodney

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 04, 2012 7:39 am

barafan wrote:Apologies if this has been answered, but which of the houses - George's or Peppy's - was the old Pickford place? And I understand the Kinograph studio gate is still extant on Cahuenga Boulevard. What's there now?


Well, "Kinograph" is a fictional company, so either they changed the sign or did it with CGI.

As for locations, here's a nice article by our own John Bengston. Make sure to follow the link to the L.A. Times' article mentioned as well.
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missdupont

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 04, 2012 9:25 am

The Kinograph Studio gate is actually the RED studio on Cahuenga Blvd., a block south and on the opposite side of the street from the UCLA Film and TV Archive.
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barafan

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 04, 2012 10:31 am

Thank you, Miss Dupont. After I'd posted, I came across the Bengstrom article, so felt a little silly. I did laugh at seeing that the George and Peppy houses are practically back-to-back. I'll have to go out there this summer for a little pilgrimage.
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missdupont

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 04, 2012 11:37 am

You won't be able to get in to see the houses as Fremont Place is gated, unfortunately. There are so many lovely homes that survive there, but aren't able to be seen.

Speaking of THE ARTIST, it and HUGO have won nominations for Production Design in the Art Directors Guild Awards.
http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/art-dir ... ore-209505
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 04, 2012 11:50 am

missdupont wrote:You won't be able to get in to see the houses as Fremont Place is gated, unfortunately. There are so many lovely homes that survive there, but aren't able to be seen.


I've always wanted to sneak in there. You will, however, be able to visit iconic Bradbury Building,
http://laplaces.blogspot.com/2009/05/br ... lding.html" target="_blank" target="_blank

which is located directly across the street from Grauman's flagship LA theater, The Million Dollar:
http://www.milliondollartheater.com/Entrance.html" target="_blank" target="_blank

and right next to the Central Market, where you can get great pupusa or fish taco for lunch. Then you can either take Angel's Flight up the hill or you can walk down Broadway and visit the Orpheum and Los Angeles theaters (more sites from The Artist).
Fred
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Harlett O'Dowd

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 04, 2012 1:50 pm

Frederica wrote:
missdupont wrote:You won't be able to get in to see the houses as Fremont Place is gated, unfortunately. There are so many lovely homes that survive there, but aren't able to be seen.


I've always wanted to sneak in there.


Perhaps that might make a fun Cinecon field trip if a guided tour could be arranged. If The Artist was able to film there, something might be able to be arranged as a one-off (not for 2012,of course.)
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barafan

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 04, 2012 1:57 pm

You won't be able to get in to see the houses as Fremont Place is gated, unfortunately.


Unfortunate for us, perhaps, but fortunate that they didn't get wiped away in any gawdawful "urban renewal" tsunami. Perhaps I can at least take my puppies for a walk down Oakwood Avenue in the pawprints of Uggie?

And Bengtson's "tour" answers my question as to why Valentin's house had "104" stenciled on the curb while his checks read something like "1100 Los Palmas Boulevard." I guess I'll just have to make important friends, or hope Cinecon can arrange a tour. So until then, I'll just put the visit on my bucket list, next to getting inside Theda Bara's West Adams Boulevard house.
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Penfold

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 04, 2012 3:06 pm

Unique opportunity to meet the star in London..... http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/campaigns/theartist/
I could use some digital restoration myself...
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greta de groat

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 04, 2012 6:38 pm

Frederica wrote:... You will, however, be able to visit iconic Bradbury Building,
http://laplaces.blogspot.com/2009/05/br ... lding.html" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank


A friend and i were just discussing whether the Bradbury Building had appeared in any silent films. John didn't mention it so i was assuming it wasn't in any of the Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd films. I haven't noticed it in any, but then i usually don't think to look for that sort of thing.

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Frederica

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostThu Jan 05, 2012 10:33 am

greta de groat wrote:
Frederica wrote:... You will, however, be able to visit iconic Bradbury Building,
http://laplaces.blogspot.com/2009/05/br ... lding.html" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank


A friend and i were just discussing whether the Bradbury Building had appeared in any silent films. John didn't mention it so i was assuming it wasn't in any of the Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd films. I haven't noticed it in any, but then i usually don't think to look for that sort of thing.

greta


The outside might have been, but externally it's not a very prepossessing building. It's the interior that is so glorious, and usually such a surprise to people who are misled by the exterior. I think it would have been full up with businesses during the silent era.
Fred
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Brooksie

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostThu Jan 05, 2012 10:50 pm

missdupont wrote:The Kinograph Studio gate is actually the RED studio on Cahuenga Blvd., a block south and on the opposite side of the street from the UCLA Film and TV Archive.


... which was originally the Metro Studios, so it's extra appropriate! :D
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostThu Jan 05, 2012 11:26 pm

I am not aware of the Bradbury Office Building appearing in any Chaplin, Keaton, or Lloyd film, although there is a very brief rooftop scene in Safety Last!, filmed atop the Washington Building, looking towards the Million Dollar Theater, where the Bradbury Office Building, standing between the two buildings, would have appeared had it been taller. Being short, it is cut out of view. The Bradbury Mansion, on the other hand, appears in Chaplin's Work, and in Lloyd's Just Nuts and Haunted Spooks. The Bradbury Office Building is rather undistinguished on the exterior.

John

Frederica wrote:
greta de groat wrote:
Frederica wrote:... You will, however, be able to visit iconic Bradbury Building,
http://laplaces.blogspot.com/2009/05/br ... lding.html" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank


A friend and i were just discussing whether the Bradbury Building had appeared in any silent films. John didn't mention it so i was assuming it wasn't in any of the Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd films. I haven't noticed it in any, but then i usually don't think to look for that sort of thing.

greta


The outside might have been, but externally it's not a very prepossessing building. It's the interior that is so glorious, and usually such a surprise to people who are misled by the exterior. I think it would have been full up with businesses during the silent era.
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostThu Jan 05, 2012 11:29 pm

The block where the RED Studio stands was originally used as a backlot for the Metro Studios. It was on this block that Buster Keaton built his disastrous, wedding present, do-it-yourself home in One Week (1920).

Brooksie wrote:
missdupont wrote:The Kinograph Studio gate is actually the RED studio on Cahuenga Blvd., a block south and on the opposite side of the street from the UCLA Film and TV Archive.


... which was originally the Metro Studios, so it's extra appropriate! :D
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostFri Jan 06, 2012 5:20 am

Facebook fans of the film!

Tonight!

Live Q & A with 'The Artist' Cast
Watch the LIVE Q and A for the Golden Globe nominated film for Best Picture, "The Artist" with Director Michel Hazanavicius, and the cast: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, and Missi Pyle! It will take place at 6:00 pm EST / 9:00 pm PST.

For the Q&A you can go here:
https://www.facebook.com/TheArtist.TWC
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostTue Jan 10, 2012 6:13 pm

Wow, The Artist really is the front-runner for both "Best Picture" and "Best Director"...

http://entertainment.time.com/2012/01/10/film-critics-awards-an-early-clue-to-oscar-nominations/?hpt=hp_c2
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostTue Jan 10, 2012 8:39 pm

It ain't lookin' too shabby in the Best Actor race either.

I hope it cleans up.
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostTue Jan 10, 2012 10:42 pm

Sorry to change the subject, but here's my belated review. It's 1929 and he's starting to worry about the silents? It was already over. He would not have been fired, he'd haven been given a shot at talkies. Last I heard, Chevalier had an accent! And I couldn't tell if it was true romance or just paying back a favor. In fact, I felt her character was poorly drawn. This movie couldn't decide whether it had it's tongue in it's cheek or not. I've seen hundreds of silent films and some of them are mediocre. This is one of those. Thank God for Uggie, my favorite actor in "the Artist. The only remarkable thing about this film is that it exists and is getting so much attention. Perhaps it's a novelty for all those who found "The Blair Witch Project" a spooky documentary.

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostTue Jan 10, 2012 11:18 pm

Bob Furem wrote:I've seen hundreds of silent films


And obviously that's the problem.
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 6:59 am

He wouldn't have been fired, he'd have been given a shot at talkies.


I have to say I agree with this critique a bit. Valentin's refusal to consider talking struck me as being poorly thought-out, and even when you learn why at the end, it doesn't seem like that much of a stumbling block, particularly as - as Bob Furem points out - you had people like Chevalier and Garbo make the transition; though, to be fair, for every Garbo there were a dozen Vilma Bankys.

To my admittedly juvenile view, it seemed to me that Valentin's choice was an aesthetic one, especially when the only view of a talking movie we see (before Peppy's string of hits) is the silly sound test in the Kinograph chief's screening room. He was saying "that? It's a toy. I make movies!" and kept to that view even in the face of a changing demographic. But again, we never saw that Valentin's movies were losing money, so it's hard to understand why Zimmer would fire a money-making star.

In any event, I'm overthinking this. I hope The Artist wins a ton of awards even if it's 'mediocre.' I like it.
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Rodney

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 7:41 am

barafan wrote:
He wouldn't have been fired, he'd have been given a shot at talkies.


I have to say I agree with this critique a bit. Valentin's refusal to consider talking struck me as being poorly thought-out, and even when you learn why at the end, it doesn't seem like that much of a stumbling block, particularly as - as Bob Furem points out - you had people like Chevalier and Garbo make the transition; though, to be fair, for every Garbo there were a dozen Vilma Bankys.


There were plenty of silent film stars who quit rather than go into talkies (or who quit shortly after trying them, either due to disappointment with the medium, disappointment with their box office, or disappointment with how they could no longer compete with the fresh-faced new crop of stars for the leading roles). As Doug Fairbanks said, the romance of the movies ends here. The technological change was almost a jolt getting them to realize it was perhaps past time to either leave gracefully or segue into character roles. Some, like Zasu Pitts, stayed on; others like Pickford, retired. And the film is fictional -- although you maybe can't easily find a star who was fired because he wouldn't move with the studio into talking pictures, it's certainly highly plausible (especially by 1929, and in a studio that has committed to 100% talking pictures). The route Valentin took was similar to the route Chaplin took, and it's quite plausible that a star like Chaplin, but without the devoted following and working in drama rather than comedy, could have failed by making silent films after 1929.

Being off by a year or two for dramatic purposes, to me, is as pissy as hating a film because an on-set sign uses Helvetica before it was in common use. If you're going to hate an entire film because of one flaw, you'll never watch The Phantom of the Opera again.
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TheMajor

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 8:01 am

I'm gonna watch this on Saturday. So excited!

Oh, and I thought Phantom of the Opera was quite mediocre. Have to watch that one again.
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 8:08 am

I never said I hated "The Artist". I said it is mediocre...and I think it is. Parts of it I enjoyed (once again, I loved Uggie), but I did not respond to its emotional core, and that is a deal-breaker. It would have been more interesting if Valentin had struggled with the new medium rather than being saved by a fluke which, frankly, could have occurred half-way through the film. They knew he could dance all along. Then we could have had a blossoming romance, rather than having to wonder if she really liked him or was just grateful. Yes, different stars reacted differently. Pickford really tried, while Fairbanks tried half-heartedly and Connie Talmadge just through in the towel. But no one financed their own silent in 1929. I agree with those who say it is acceptable to take liberties with dates, etc., but the material has to be so compelling that you don't care. I could not get that wrapped up in the story. I certainly tried. I believe this film to be a novelty and a programmer...mildly entertaining in parts and that is all. I am now ready to take further lumps.
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 8:14 am

Okay, I should have said THREW in the towel. Laugh if you must. By the way, I love Phantom and don't understand those who find it fatally flawed. Sorry again for the bad grammar, but it is early in the morning and pre-work. Sue me. This whole discussion is givng me VERTIGO. BTW, I don't care that they used that music, but Kim Novak is within her rights to object.
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Rodney

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 8:23 am

Bob Furem wrote:But no one financed their own silent in 1929.


Well, my point was that Chaplin did (in 1931), and someone else easily could have in a fictional world. That City Lights succeeded is a nice part of history, but if Fairbanks or Gilbert had made their own City Lights equivalent after talkies were established, I doubt it would have fared as well.

[And if you want to change "through" to "threw," there's an "edit" button that you can use for the purpose.]
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Bob Furem

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 9:29 am

Thanks for the heads up on the "edit" button, Rodney.

Chaplin is a universe unto himself and does not apply here. He was the only silent star in a position to do as he pleased. Valentin is a bit of a ham and I think perhaps is intended to represent silent film acting in general. The whole film strikes me as a valentine to old movies with a few darts thrown in for good measure. Again, fudging dates a little is not a big deal, but the lack of an emotional center is a problem. Nor does it work as light farce. The tone shifts constantly.

Anyway, Rodney, I think we can just agree to disagree on "The Artist." I have the greatest respect for your music and your opinions. In fact, I wish your fine ensemble had been hired to do the music. In the future, however, I prefer to not have my opinions referred to as "pissy."
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missdupont

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 9:43 am

Well, it seems that most of the film world that matters disagrees with you, as it was a big hit at Cannes, keeps winning all types of critics' awards, has been nominated as Best Picture by the Producers Guild, nominated for Best Director by the Directors Guild, nominated for Best Makeup by the makeup guild, nominated for Best Costumes by the Costumers Guild, nominated for Best Art Design by the Art Directors Guild, one of the 7 films in the running for Best Makeup Design for the Academy Awards, leading nominees for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, leading nominees in music/comedy for this Sunday's Golden Globes, and probably one of the leaders in nominations when the Academy Awards are announced on January 24.
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 10:22 am

Rodney - a further point on "fresh-faced stars." Somewhere (perhaps in Jeanine Basinger's wonderful Silent Stars), it was noted that the disappearance of a number of silent performers around the talkie era doesn't need the explanation of Singin' In The Rain croakers or Louis B Mayer vendettas; it was simply that, by the late 20's, stars like Pickford, Fairbanks, Gish and so on had been around for quite a long time. They would have been on their way out even without sound. Perhaps their farewells would have been longer, but they would have been pushed aside at some point - heck, some fans were calling Frank Bushman a washed-up relic from the old days in 1917!

Not intended as any sort of trump, just an addition to your post.
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 11:30 am

The American Society of Cinematographers just named THE ARTIST as one of 5 nominees for Best Cinematography.
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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 12:37 pm

Bob Furem wrote: In the future, however, I prefer to not have my opinions referred to as "pissy."


If, as you say, you "agree with those who say it is acceptable to take liberties with dates, etc" then I don't think Rodney referred to your opinions as "pissy" when he said "Being off by a year or two for dramatic purposes, to me, is as pissy as hating a film because an on-set sign uses Helvetica before it was in common use."
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Rodney

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Re: The Artist (2011) a contemporary silent

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 1:09 pm

Thanks -- I should have used less strong language, and I apologize. There are critics who, if they think you've messed up in one small way, will dismiss the whole film; and I realize that the 1929 thing was not, in itself, why you didn't care for it. I liked The Artist a lot, though I don't think it was necessarily the best film of the year. I also thought the score was a little off in places, using peppy xylophones during an early dramatic scene, for instance. While I thought it had a perfectly fine emotional center, I still thought Hugo told a more creative and thought-provoking story, with considerably more polish. I thought The Artist's somewhat lower budget, based no doubt on lower expectations, may have hurt it a little here and there -- I have to wonder if the creators aren't currently second-guessing and saying "If we'd known our little fun project was going to make this much of a splash, maybe we should have spent more time rehearsing the tap dance sequence, getting more authentic dresses, brushing up the extras on how to dance in a 1920s film, done more with this or that scene..."

I talked with one friend who is involved in creative work, and he found both Hugo and The Artist very good but also quite disturbing in the same way... showing how a great artist who is in the top of his field can be plunged in to an impoverished obscurity by just getting behind the times. The happy endings in both cases can be seen as arbitrary The Last Laugh-style tack-ons, due to random circumstances beyond the artists' control. Both films had a very strong emotional involvement for him.

And for the record, while I thought Uggie was excellent in the role, I never got that thrill of thinking "My gosh, that animal is really acting" that I get from time to time with Rin-Tin-Tin -- the dinner table scene in The Night Cry will always be, for me, the gold standard of animal acting on film. Well, that and the Ultimate Dog Tease, of course.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
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"Let the Music do the Talking!"
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