The Artist: A Tarantino Movie For Silent Film Buffs
The Artist revealed that silent movies were kind of boring. Sure, there are nice touches: It’s charming, formally witty from time to time, and fits its old-movie nostalgia perfectly into a contemporary three-act template. But mostly it reminded me how little I actually care for the silent era, with its picture-book presentation and emphasis on broad vaudevillian physicality. Watching the movie was like listening to some enthusiastic professor lecture me about something he loves — that I just can’t bring myself to care about at all.
In a weird way, though, it also helped me understand why some people don’t really like Quentin Tarantino. Here’s why: I love 20th century genre trash — the good stuff, obviously, but even a lot of the bad stuff too. It’s the stuff I was raised on, the stuff that’s a part of me. Tarantino is probably the best popular appreciator of 20th century trash making movies today — and to varying degrees, all of his films reflect this. Which is why people who don’t care for 20th century trash frequently don’t respond well to his films. I feel the same way about The Artist. It’s a Tarantino movie for silent film buffs — a clever exercise in appreciation and celebration. But I just don’t care enough to enjoy the revelry.