The Artist vs Twitter
As an absolute film enthusiast myself I could barely wait for ‘The Artist‘ to hit screens in South Africa. The first opportunity I got to see it, I did! In the only way I know how, Cinema Nouveau, sitting down in the middle of the back row with four old ducks reminiscing about back-in-the-day, which I’m sure you’ve been victim to by your grandparents as well. At this point I got really excited, I had the chance to be apart of an era which has been lost for many years. Kids of my generation would never seek out for black & white film to rent out and let alone waste a film ticket on them either. So this was a gem. A black & white film IN cinema- you can’t beat that!! The first French film I ever saw was ‘La Vie En Rose,’ for those who have not seen it, it’s one of the greatest biopics of the century- documenting the life of Edith Piaf. Which also gave Marion Cotillard her big break in a leading role with an outstanding collection of accolades and raving reviews. However, none like this… The Artist, released in 2011 is the 1st Silent Monochrome Film to have won any award since 1929 (As far as I know). This film has gone down as the most successful French Film in history. Directed by Michel Hazanavicius, Produced by Thomas Langmann, Composed by Ludovic Bource along with the Brussels Philharmonic in Brussels and starring the dashing Jean Dujardin as Valentin and the beautiful Bérénice Bejo as Miller.
Nominations and Awards:
- 2011 Cannes Film Festival– The Artist Premiers
- Dujardin wins Best Actor.
- Golden Globes- The most ANY 2011 film has been nominated.
- 6 Nominations
- 3 Wins: Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score & Best Actor.
- BAFTA’s- The most ANY 2011 film has been nominated.
- 12 Nominations
- 7 Wins: Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay & Best Actor.
- Academy Awards- A.K.A “The Oscars”
- 10 Nominations
- 5 Wins: Best Motion Picture, Best Director & Best Actor.
- Cesar Awards- Conducted in France
- 10 Nominations
- 6 Wins: Best Film, Best Director & Best Actress.
1927, Valentin is in his prime. Pleasing the crowd outside the premier of his latest film ‘A Russian Affair’ when he bumps into Miller, a wanna-bee actress. The next day they are seen on the cover of Variety together where Miller is captured stealing a cheeky kiss (In every sense of the manner). The headline reads “Who’s that girl?.” Later on Miller auditions for a part in the next Valentin film and gets picked. Valentin fights for her against his better judgment with director Al Zimmer (John Goodman). Whilst filming their scene together, Valentin struggles to concentrate on his objective and focuses more on Miller. Later, Valentin catches Miller sharing an intimate moment with his tux and takes the chance to give her a glimpse into her career. He places a beauty spot on her lip which evidently becomes her trademark throughout her career.
1929, Valentin is asked to either join the talkies evolution or get left behind. Silenced! Ironic isn’t it? So as the story goes, Valentin gets left behind and his pride ultimately ruins his passion. Miller is now the new bombshell on the Hollywood block and Valentin finds it challenging to keep up. Miller, an avid Valentin fan remains loyal to him and his films, so much that she attends the disappointing premier of Valentin’s independent film whilst her first leading role premiers next door on the same evening hosted by a full house.
Valentin soon goes bankrupt. The stock market has crashed and his wife Doris has since left him. He finds himself living in less than favourable conditions with his trusted right-hand man Clifton (James Cromwell). Valentin is desperate, he auctions off his prized possessions and fire’s Clifton.
After watching some of his earlier reels, Valentin in his state of drunken rage set his film canisters alight, but one!
The dog, Jack, runs for help and gets the attention of a nearby constable who pulls Valentin from the flames. Miller then hears of the event and decides to take Valentin in under her supervision and nurses him back to health. Miller, feeling guilty for the way she cast him aside when gaining fame decides to plea for his career with Director Zimmer for a part in an upcoming film starring Miller. Given a second chance to join film Darwinism, Valentin takes the opportunity and ceases it.
6 Things The Artist & Twitter Share–
- Black & White: They both present content in black & white. By this I mean that the information on twitter is either right or wrong, good or bad, yes or no, stay or go. You decide what you do with that information. With brand pages now available on twitter, they are no longer silenced as Valentin was. They have been given the freedom to become individuals and be their own voices. However, advertisers hardly ever see anything in black & white- they’ll get around the system and soon black & white won’t fly anymore. We’re seeing it happen to American Idol as we speak. Ratings drop and advertisers need their fix.
- Silent: Twitter is anything BUT silent- yet with the many active accounts using the network how many of those actually participate in conversation? Many of those “ACTIVE” accounts are made up of mere observers. They wait in the stillness of the night and basically just stalk the trends, or my favourite- Auto tweet adder etc which really grinds my bones. The biggest lesson to be learned on twitter is to listen, yet some people still don’t act on the information they receive. You can be an observer but be a frontrunner, a leading man and shuffle those feet. People want to see you dance and witness the motion. It shouldn’t matter what platform its on, just that its being done.
- The Girl: Just like The Artist, Twitter has the girl. Waiting to be picked from the side-line. Chosen to represent the sassy, the sexy and the fabulous!! Yet it’s taken some time for her to get noticed. Now that the ladies of twitter have come out to dominate, we’ve come out with a vengeance! Some of the most influential twits are woman. We’ve brought twitter into the new era and harnessed it. With so much potential we present branding, communication, insight and opinions to men who would never have had the balls to just simply ask… Why? Read on… Back in this era, woman were hard workers- take Chanel for example. How is it that mid 1900’s and later 1900’s woman decided they had no mind of their own. They thought they had no power to fight for independence (Except for hippies to be fair). It was as if woman had taken the lazy way out, stayed at home, cooking and cleaning and popping them babies like Panado. What happened to their careers? They had none! When their husbands didn’t come back from war, they found themselves in poverty. Why? Because they sat back and let society tell them how to live, where their place was and what was expected of them as woman. Well, that’s hogwash!!
- The Guy: With Valentin as a great example of how men are portrayed in a debonair way, we see the sudden downfall of his character due to his pride. This is not to say he does not have passion as many men do on twitter and flaunt it- surprisingly well- it’s just evident that some of them let their pride get in the way of their passion. Chris Brown for example, I don’t doubt that he’s talented I just don’t like his music. Personal preference. Yet his attitude and pride have been his greatest demise.
- Talkies: With the end of an era, the talkies emerge! Like Zombies from the grave… We see those personalities that just don’t give up. I admire their ambition to get 2 000 tweets in a single day but if you seriously want to piss on my battery don’t tell me someone is talking crazy nonsense about me. I’m smarter than your spam!
- Records of Reels: Just as Valentin had his collection of film, Twitter now has the same. It has been said that brands, marketers and data analyzers now have access to tweets reeling back two years instead of the standard 30 day record. Which will they burn first? Will they make the same inevitable mistake of relying on old data to sculpt a new market? Is the information beneficial or is it just there for the sake of data being data??
Twitter, just like that of The Artist experiences its moments of ‘Rise & Fall’– people sometimes forget that the twitterverse does not know how to sleep or shutdown/off/up! What you saying is being broadcast to the world and it may affect someone close to you or have an impact on someone on the other side. The consequences of being negligent with information could cause disaster. Not that I’m complaining about Osama Bin Laden being caught with a bite size chocolate in a hole. On the other hand, most of it has a happy ending. Take a look at the Official Trailer of The Artist- but keep in mind that this does not do it justice.