Thursday, January 19, 2012
the artist

"The Artist" is a charming film with some wonderful and very sweet things about it....It is basically a 'silent film' that takes place just as sound is about to come into the film business, (changing it forever), and the effect this change to 'sound' has on one particular Silent Screen Star.....It is a very enjoyable film and has a feel-good, the cutest Jack Russell we've seen since the television show "Frasier". For my money---he, 'Uggie" steals the movie.....This past weekend "The Artist won three Golden Globes....garnering a number of other Awards earlier in 2011 and 2012---some big 'wins', I might add.....It is original in many respects and we certainly haven't seen anything like it---well, maybe ever. Still, it wouldn't be my pick for, The Best Picture, at Oscar time....Just my subjective opinion folks...But, I would say if you haven't seen it---you should because it is a very very enjoyable experience!There has been a bit of a brouhaha about the Musical Score. Actress Kim Novak took a full page Ad in Daily Variety, protesting the use of already written music for part of the score for 'The Artist'---and incidentally the composer of the score for 'The Artist', Ludovic Bource, has won a number of Awards for this score and frankly, I have a problem with that too, just as Kim Novak does....And here is why. The filmmakers of 'The Artist' have used 6 minutes and 20 seconds of music written by Bernard Herrmann for the James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock film, 'Vertigo' in 'The Artist'. The "Vertigo" (1958) score is a very well known score---and the 6 min section of music lifted from Vertigo is a very famous and memorable theme written for a very famous and memorable scene in the film "Vertigo"........Mr. Herrmann was one of the premier Film composers of the 1940's and 1950's and continuing almost into the late 1970's ("Citizen Kane", "North By Northwest", "Psycho", "Cape Fear", "Taxi Driver", just to name a few of the films Mr. Herrmann scored).....Parts of "Vertigo" have been recorded for special albums/cd's featuring Mr. Herrmann's film music. I understand the filmmakers for 'The Artist feel that they're use of this music is a tribute to Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann, a kind of homage, in fact....But the credit at the end of the film is lumped in with all sorts of song credits and there is no mention of "Vertigo" or Alfred Hitchcock...all it says is 'Love Scene Music' by Bernard Herrmann.....I think this is wrong---at the very least, if you are going to use 'original' music from another film, give it full credit. It is not like using Beethoven or Bach or Debussy---always given full credit, and rightfully so. It is using copyrighted music from another film---written especially for that film--I think this is very wrong for the Filmmakers of 'The Artist' to have lifted this music from another film, for they're film. Again, just my opinion, but I do feel very strongly about it.Anyway....this probably will not interfere with your enjoyment of this very delightful and original film---it is, as I said, a feel-good movie and we don't have too many of those, these days, so give yourself a real treat of an evening and go see "The Artist"---it's fun and a lovely story and, you will just adore dear Uggie......! Above....Jean Dujardin, the lead who has garnered quite a few Best Actor Awards......He is terrific! All the actors are terrific!...Go and enjoy!

Just two words about the film "Tree Of Life", again, just my personal opinion....Pretentious Drivel.....!

More To Come.........

had this to say:

I do so enjoy your reviews. You give me a view point I would not normally be aware of. I was not excited about a "silent" film but you have convinced me to give it a look. I do love "feel good" movies.
Your two scathing words have convinced me to scratch "Tree of Life". Thanks Naomi.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 3:41:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

This is another one my wife wants me to see. Too many good movies, too little time.


Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 5:31:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

M and I were discussing whether to go to the theatre to see this film or to wait and Netflix it. I want to go see it, M thinks she might not enjoy it and she's worried I'll fall asleep in the movie if there's no talking. I tend to fall asleep if I sit still and it's dark. Oops. Still, I think because there's no talking, you have to be even more focused on the film, the actors' facial expressions, movements, etc. I think that amount of focus would make me stay awake. What do you think?

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 6:46:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for the review Naomi. You should get paid for these reviews! I think a silent film is certainly a different direction and should be interesting. Love that dear sweet dog! So cute!! xxox

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 9:39:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Oh I LOVE watching films after you reviews---always extras I'd never have known. Thanks!

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 12:10:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have heard it's really excellent. Likely I won't see it until it's a DVD but I will see it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 3:42:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Another one to add to my Netflix queue! I love Kim Novak and "Vertigo" and I can see how this would be upsetting. I don't think I've ever watched a silent film in its entirety, but I haven't even tried. Thanks for bringing new thoughts into my life and sharing your reviews...I would love to check this one out.

Love and hugs to you, my sweet friend! ♥♥♥

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 4:25:00 PM PST 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

Glad to have your insightful review Naomi. I'm amazed that they could use the score without permission.
I agree that is a very grudging acknowledgement.
the film seem to have appeared from nowhere and I'd certainly like to see it.

Friday, January 20, 2012 at 2:27:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

for some reason or another this movie hasn't been around my area.. I hope it comes here! You'd make anyone want to see a movie that your review! lol

Friday, January 20, 2012 at 3:23:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Sounds interesting!!! However, swiping music from "Vertigo" (one of Hitch's greatest) is a no-no!!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 12:06:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

did you see where some folks are demanding their money back because they didn't understand that a silent film meant no talking!!

the dog is adorable

I love your reviews

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 4:59:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I very much want to see this film and so I am glad it gets the thumbs up from you as you are a critic that I can trust! :)

I hope time has started it's healing process - sending hugs.

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 6:39:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, this is a wonderful post and one that interests me very much. I have been eager to see "The Artist" (and I still am), but who knows when it will come to our town?! I check the movie listings every week! My passion for that comes from loving musicals, old silents and of course, my long-ago Jack Russell! I keep reading reviews about the dog.

I didn't know the controversy about the music. You bring up a very good point and I think what bothers me most is that it is uncredited. That's a bit troubling. I won't stop me from seeing the movie, but I may look a little more carefully at the other nominees for score. thanks for this one!

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 7:21:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I don't see too many movies but I always like seeing what you have to say about them. You have a point of view that comes from experience in the industry. I appreciate it!

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 7:34:00 AM PST 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

The current holder of the Vertigo copyrigh is responsible for dictating the terms of the credits! Maybe some conglomerate greedy thought the controversy would stimulate sales of Hermann's music. So much for the best interests of the artist! Victor Herbert, where are you now that we need you?

But, It does seem odd to use music from the 50's in a silent era story.

By the way, if your fans liked the Artist, they might try renting "The Beauty Prize". It was made in 1930, in both a silent and sound version. They should rent BOTH, because there is a scene so memorable in the sound veersion you will never forget it. The plot is also about the film industry transiition to sound.

the fat lady

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 5:00:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Another movie to place on my list. I agree with you though that they should not have used the music from Vertigo or at least given it a large credit at the end of the film. You are very attentive and observant – I really like to read your reviews and trust them completely.

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 8:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

My favorite Herrman score is from the 1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much. The music is an integral part of the plot and I love that Herrman actually plays the (uncredited) conductor of the orchestra in the pivotal scene.

Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 12:58:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What an interesting point. One that I would not have caught about the music.

The dog- I must see the movie just to watch the dog. The older I get- the "doggier" I am.

Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 11:10:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I really enjoyed this picture. That dog was THE.CUTEST!!

Thank you for relating Kim Novak's beef; I had not heard that. My first thought by the end of the picture was that the score would win an Oscar. For those who have not seen the film there are other well known songs in the movie, but one would think that using over 6 minutes of music from such a classic would get a better credit.

I loved the male lead instantly, but it took a little longer for the female lead to grow on me. She did, though.

Loved, loved, loved the ending. And that dream sequence.

Maybe it's me (it often is), but not one film this year is rocking my world. No Schindler's List, no Chicago, no ET. Many good films, but no classics.

I am soo looking forward to hearing what you have to say about "Bridesmaids". I loved it. I was in a packed house that was hysterical with laughter, but many of my friends seeing it on DVD have not liked it at all.

I watched "Albert Nobbs" last night and thought it was very good, but very sad. Hard to recommend. It had humor and a potentially happy ending, but still it was rather bleak.

Sending you a big hug.


Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 12:02:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Dear Naomi,
Love your reviews! This is another movie to place on my list. But only when it is in DVD.
The dog looks so cute!

As you know, I miss so much my dear
Flora... (Sigh) I know you miss dear Sweetie too... It's much difficult...

I hope you had a peaceful Sunday.
Sending to you many hugs and much love!

Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 1:22:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi: I absolutely concur with your dismissal of "The Tree of LIfe" in two words. I saw it 3 weeks ago. I volunteer at our local theatre which shows "art movies" every two weeks.... so that was the movie that was playing. I really felt sorry for all the paying customers who came out shaking their heads in bewilderment! What a load of old codswallop! Brad Pitt should be ashamed of himself. Brad.... are you reading this?
I'd like to see "The Artist", but may have to wait until it comes to town.
Keep smiling, Naomi!

Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 8:39:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

my dear lady - how wonderful to be back over to your place once again - seems life and things thereof have taken me away so long and it's great to be visiting once more - and i was unaware of the situation regarding the music of the artist and totally agree with you! what a mess! i've seen a number of trailers of descendants and it's on my must see list - your fantastic review only adds to that resolve! thanks so much - and i must say i do love the bridges brothers, although jeff, i confess, is my fave! ;)

again, wonderful to drop by for a visit - i've so missed being here! have a wonderful california day -

Monday, January 23, 2012 at 6:02:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I am upset that I missed the Golden Globes. I have bad TV reception where several channels don't come in AND I forgot to look.

I agree that full credit should be given to the Vertigo music and hope to see the Artist. I don't think I've ever seen a silent film. I just googled a clip so I could get an idea of how it was pulled off.

The Tree of Life was frustrating. I was pulled in and liked the story part of it but found the big bang stuff to be overdone and boring and the confusing ending ... more frustration. I loved Brad Pitt's portrayal of the dad.

Monday, January 23, 2012 at 7:28:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Such an interesting post and sounds like one I might want to see.

The dog "Uggie" is adorable. I love Jack Russells.

Monday, January 23, 2012 at 12:54:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Kim Novak and the one and only Naomi Caryl may have done a wonderful thing! I think we need a uniform credit section in music licensing and perhaps even copyright contracts and laws. When substantial or recognizable cues are used, the composer and original production should receive a credit of specific size, on screen for a specific time!

Of course cues are used and reused, (one from drawer a, one from drawr b) lol---but-- main themes need to be identified. The theme from Gone With the Wind has been behind every imaginable sort of student film over the years. I always made sure it had a nice big full screen credit! Ditto much of Emrich Kalman's stuff on London (records).

the fat lady

Monday, January 23, 2012 at 4:03:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'm not that keen on feel good movies myself I like something a bit dark and heavy, but I would like to see the Artist because it has received such good write ups that it must be worth seeing.

Knowing me I'll probably wait for it to appear on the in flight entertainment on the BA plane! :D

Btw I agree with you about the music too. That's wrong!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 5:58:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

You are a living encyclopedia regarding American Theatre and Movies.
I always enjoy reading your posts,
even though I've been absent for a while (you know why).

I posted for the first time in some weeks: What we have for Dinner her in Norway during our cold and dark Winter...


Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 12:00:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I loved this film and I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. A very creative film in my book though I didn't know about the music controversy. My son told me that in some locations, theaters gave refunds to moviegoers who were upset the film was a silent film. And you are so right, a very sweet story too.

Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 2:40:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

This one is on my list to see. We'd originally planned to go this weekend but a few things got in the way.

It's still on the list!

Monday, January 30, 2012 at 12:10:00 AM PST 

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