Close Reading Exercise (Assignment 1)
The Artist (2011)
Uses the conventions of the 1920’s silent film era using live orchestral music that reflects, reacts and contributes to the atmosphere on screen. This is expressed through Valentin and Miller’s tap dance in which the music becomes diegetic and synchronous. No dialogue and the use of silence gives homage to silent cinema, which its unexpected success was grounded on the idea that the silence made emotions on screen more extreme and theatric. This is evident with the incorporation of sound for actors expressions at key moments such as when Valentin sees Miller. The music is mainly romantic and encompasses the emotions on screen. The playful and alluring music is in relation to Miller’s sex appeal although it becomes non-diegetic as Valentin and Miller start to dance and seemingly fall in love. This allows the music to become a soundtrack not to the physicality of the scene but it’s emotive qualities. The use of dialogue captions is a strong convection of silent cinema. By doing this allows the audience to read and place in their own voice for the character creating a more personal and engaging experience. The music becomes more dreamy and solemn as the scene goes on. Valentin and Miller continually dance together after Valentin cant seem to concentrate. On the third time the music starts to do a long fade out as Valentin realizes he is falling in love and walks off.
Like most silent-films The Artist is cut to allow the emotions of others in the scene to contribute to the mood and to the audience’s participation. With every emotional turn the scene has, the faces and expressions of everyone else is shown compelling the audience to feel the same. The shots are edited to feel closer and quicker when they are not filming within the film. When filming in film the shot is continuous and more ‘cinematic’ This scene is edited to have Valentin and Miller the absolute...
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