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ABOUT THE BOOK
Your exclusive guide to the Oscar nominated films of 2012!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Pennies, Blacktop, and Words
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
#1: The Artist
The Artist is a sincere, grayscale homage to the lost art of silent filmmaking.
George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the debonair, grin-happy, camera-mugging hero of the silent picture industry. The man is a ham sandwichaffable, charmingbut a ham all the same.
At the photocall for his latest caper,A Russian Affair, George meet-cutes Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo). Peppy accidentally bumps through the crowd barrier and into George. The gaggle of reporters falls into awkward silence (well, more silent). Peppy freezes. George laughs and the crowd relaxes. Photograph bulbs flash and Peppy poses for the camera. She kisses George on the cheek. The next days headline for Variety reads Whos that girl?
1929 arrives. Peppys star has risen. Georges latest swashbuckler sees him fighting sword-wielding Frenchmen in a wig. The head of Kinograph takes George aside and plays a scene from the studios first talkie. George scoffs. He returns to the studio the next day to find that Kinograph has shut down production on all silent films. Talkies or bust.
Cut from the studio, George bankrolls his own silent jungle epic, Tears of Love. The movie tanks. Peppy becomes a bona fide movie star of the audible movie industry. George loses his wife, his house, his money (it is The Great Depression after all), and his butler. In an episode of depressed rage, George sets fire to reels of film. He nearly burns alive. Peppy reads of Georges misfortune in the paper and visits him in the hospital. George recuperates in Peppys house. Love connection.
One day, George accidentally stumbles upon a dark room in Peppys house that contains all of the items from his estate sale (sold off for $$ during Hard Times). George Valentins pride is dangerously wounded. He returns to his scorched apartment and puts a gun in his mouth. Peppy appears. Crisis averted. Cue more strings. Such swelling strings. The movie concludes with a joyous and exuberant dance number. George and Peppy are making a movie. Yes! Its a talkie!
Front runner. Hollywood loves Hollywood. Michel Hazanaviciuss The Artist is a winsome nostalgia piece that celebrates, in perfect proportion, both the unshakable delight and the basic human tragedy of original cinema.
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Kan Long is an experienced writer and a member of the Hyperink Team, which works hard to bring you high-quality, engaging, fun content. Happy reading!
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