St. Charles Herald-Guide

ĎThe Artistí brings back memories of the past

By Allen Lottinger - February 3, 2012

This writer heard a radio talk show host ask the question recently if anyone read newspapers anymore. I answered that yes they do and that includes the most important and best informed people. And also included are radio people looking for news to report.

Lately weíve heard people ask if anyone goes to the movie theatres anymore with all the flicks on TV and at disk rental shops. The answer to that is probably yes also with movie houses expanding here and there.

And there is reason for that also. The reason why newspapers are read is that people donít want to get informed by two or three brief sentences on the big news of the day spoken into a mike. They want details that only newspapers can bring.

And as for the flicks, there are good movies coming out that wonít get into households for a while. And that is my introduction to a review of a movie that is the most unusual of any out today and very enjoyable.

Flip on down to Canal Place and settle into one of their comfy chairs to see "The Artist."

Donít worry, itís not about a guy trying to outsell Picasso. Itís mostly about an actor-producer of silent movies who had to compete with talkies when they came out. And the star of much of the competition is the girl he falls in love with.

What makes the movie so interesting is that it was shot mostly like silent movies were with printed words and music accompaniment to fit the action on the screen. Imagine in this day and age watching a silent movie as enjoyable as this one.

One could truthfully ask today if anyone watches silent movies anymore.

This one is expected by many to capture the best picture Academy Award this year. And well it should.

Producing a successful silent movie in this day and age is almost a miracle. And the fact that it draws the audience into the action would make one wonder if we are moving backward, tired of listening to words like on the radio and instead wanting to read the details. At last, we donít have to mull through accents and we can read the words for instant understanding. Just like in newspapers.

Go and see "The Artist" if youíre in the mood for a flick that will take you out of your everyday life. This one has plenty of history and memorabilia shown in a way that holds your attention intensely and leaves you glad that you went.

And while you are watching it, you can have a meal and drinks with curb service in your comfy chair at the Canal Place ciinema which plans to double its size in the future.