Silent, But Deadly

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During the years of my film obsession, I’ve developed deeper and more appreciation for things besides the actors’ performances. I’ll admit, I used acting performances to determine if I liked a film. That isn’t the case these days anymore. I find I’m more drawn to cinematography shots, a script with underlying humor and a musical score.

Today, I feel most everyone is plugged into some type of music. These notes and tunes and melodies serve as a way to soundtrack our workouts, ride to work, road trip with friends and sing us to sleep on the airplane. And our musical scores change with every season, every mood and every album release. It’s why so many of us just lost it during the musical score of UP. Music is more than just sound.

But this obsession and need for music is the sole reason everyone should rush out to see The Artist. This film, a silent film, shows how music moves us and carries us through emotions and storylines. The story follows a successful silent film actor, George Valentin and his struggle with conforming to the new demand of studios moving to “The Talkies.”

I’ll admit, I’ve never seen a silent film in its entirety; so I was anticipating art cards flashing up on the screen every 4 seconds to tell me what was going on. Not the case. It’s amazing what we can still pick up on through facial expressions as we use music for context clues.

The acting performances of this film are nothing but outstanding. They would have to be, seeing as the actors’ faces and body language are what carries viewers from scene to scene. And another perk of the film I wasn’t anticipating: hearing the audience’s reactions. Sitting in a room with strangers whom you could hear laughing, gasping and hoping aloud is something few films give us the chance to experience.

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