Must Watch: First Full Trailer for B&W Silent Cannes Film 'The Artist'

May 14, 2011
Source: YouTube

The Artist Trailer

This is a must watch for a reason - it looks phenomenal. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival tomorrow morning (I will be seeing it then) is a film called The Artist, a black-and-white silent film from French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius about the silent film era in Hollywood. Most probably haven't heard about this, but I'll be damned if it doesn't look amazing, not just a wonderful homage to these kind of films, but a complete transposition back to 20s and early days of cinema. It stars two French actors - Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo - but also features John Goodman and James Cromwell. I cannot wait to see this!

Watch the first official trailer for Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist:

Hollywood 1927. George Valentin is a very successful silent movie star. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career. For young extra Peppy Miller, it seems the sky's the limit -- stardom awaits.

The Artist was both conceived and directed by French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius, of the two popular OSS 117 French spy films and Mes amis previously. This is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival this very weekend. The film was the first major sale of the fest, picked up by The Weinstein Company, but they haven't set an actual release date and will probably wait for reactions first. Stay tuned for my early review!

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  • Duane
     Not into the whole "rise and fall/glamorization of Hollywood" thing... but damn if this doesn't look amazing.  The art direction and cinematography looks insane, and Jean Dujardin looks like a cross between Gene Kelly and Clark Gable.
  • First thought: The Mask. Second thought: Bittersweet nostalgic melancholy.
  • loeo
     welcome to two days ago :)
  • Howabout we worry less about using film to comment on film and just make more silent b/w movies. they're an amazing film art form and deserve more than homages
    • Rey
       I agree to me those kind of movies are more powerful. Charlie Chaplin's The Kid is my favorite movie of all time. so i have a lot of respect fot silent films. i also like "the general" and "birth of a nation" as well, oh and "nosferatu" 😀
  • CisforCinema
    Wow this looks beautiful! Wish they would make more throwback movies like this.
  • Meh, I prefer the real thing.
  • Looks cool but how about using period appropriate music for the trailer? Sing Sing Sing wasn't penned until 1936.
  • Looks cool but how about using period appropriate music for the trailer? Sing Sing Sing wasn't penned until 1936.
  • Lando
     wow, that looks great! They seem to have covered all the elements of silent film in a non cheesy way...not happy with the musical selection (atleast the trailer track) but that is quickly forgotten upon seeing goodman and cromwell. The introduction of sound killed a lot of actors careers so its interesting to see that portrayed here using that old classic hollywood concept (the fall of one top star while a lesser star rises to the top). Thanks for the heads up Alex!!
  • Anonymous
    woody allen where you when we need you?? the wurss prt is i rmber this stuff frm whn i waz a lil kid. t&v was the newest thing on the block. we were the furss to git a kolor t&v!!now look at the krap that is on t&v. yur betr off reade this krap.god bless america/yours in the army of the templers. kill the bill;kill the bill;kill the bill impeach the kongress!!
    • Mksm
      Thanks for your useless message buried in sms shorthand. Learn to spell even when trolling.
  •  You know, I have to give them a lot of credit for taking on such a classic style of film, contending it against what film has become(for better or for worse).  At first I felt it was an film shot back then and its revival was being premiered - totally had me! Honestly I'd be inclined to check this out!
  • Engmaj51
     Mr. DeMille, let the cameras roll!
  • Zen
    This looks absolutely devoid of any entertainment value.
    • Nope
      Cool opinion.
  • Srd
     Was the film shot using real B/w film or was it a 'colour removed' digital impression of real film? The film shown does not have that sparkle that true black and white had! The lighting in the trailer appears to be too flat! There is none of the key lighting that was integral in the films up until colour appeared in the industry. Admittedly original films were shot on silver nitrate stock which gave a 'glowing' effect to the image. Lighting was utilised to great effect 'sculpting' the images. Lighting was more of an art back then. Watch 'La Boheme' with Lillian Gish and John Gilbert: Directed by King Vidor (1926) or a more recent example- 'The Devil is a Woman'- Marlene Deitrich and Lionel Atwell; Directed by Joseph von Sternberg (1935), to see a perfect example of a black and white film production. Alas, no-one is left from that period to advise and be a mentor to the new 'mechanics' of filming. I still look forward to seeing this effort. 
    • Gfast
      Agree - trailer selection many scenes are 'overlit' and flat. Silent film had a particular craft attached to lighting and camera - both now largely lost skills. True that film stocks of the silent era were vastly different, nitrate with high silver content, however the lighting skills of silent film are not truly replicated here. Let's hope the producers shot and provide real black and white film stock, and not de-coloured colour stock, which imparts a totally different colour temperature than real B&W. A valiant effort however to rekindle interest in this overlooked pure expressionist art form. It is said that 80-90% of the silent era productions are lost forever.




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