Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Versions of the past

After Resistance and The Well Digger's Daughter the second pair of films I saw were My week with Marilyn and The Artist.
Both of these films gave us a view of the past which allowed a glimpse behind the scenes on a film set. In the case of My week with Marilyn the action took place during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl and with The Artist we were treated to a gentle melodrama based on the period when Hollywood was going through its transformation from silent movies to the talkies. Twentieth century film history received very different treatment in each of these films and I felt it was more successful in The Artist where well known actors were not being portrayed but stars of the silent screen were merely evoked.

The Artist also had the unbeatable presence of Uggy the Jack Russell to appeal to the Courtyard audience who could be heard muttering to one another as they came down the steps "I really liked the dog".

Quite unintentionally, most of the films I chose to see this season were made in the twenty first century while being set in the past, The Last Waltz was an exception as it was made in 1978 and for that reason seemed more authentic. Seeing Bob Dylan and Van Morrison looking so much younger was a treat. It also made those of us who could remember that decade feel a genuine nostalgia. Comments on leaving the Studio were full of lively memories of concerts and gigs from long ago!

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