“The Artist” as tedious

Just saw “The Artist” and cannot recommend it.  Moved very slowly, by which I mean interest (mine) was not held.  It did get me to stay to the end out of curiosity: would the hero do this or won’t he?  etc.

He didn’t speak a word, as you know: it’s a mostly silent film, except for the music, which is fine.  I’d call it a musical with pantomime and a caption here and there to keep you up on things.  Which is a silent film, is it not?

I went very much of my own accord and out of my way — to a cinema on a Saturday afternoon — so did not go seeking to nitpick.  But it’s a moviemaker’s movie.  Buffs will glory in it, I suppose, not least because it’s about movie history, the switch to talkies and the inability of silent stars to make the switch. 

Not quite in this case: the hero doesn’t want to switch.  We never discover if he could talk.  But he has something else going for him, which I won’t tell.

The female lead is a love.  No problem watching her on the silent screen.  Nor do I want to condemn the overall effort.  The problem is not the silence but the story line and how long (and melodramatically) it took to unwind.

Go see it if you want, I can’t remember when anyone went or not to see a movie on my say-so.

Later: More I think about it, the medium is also to blame in itself.  You take talking away from your characters, and what happens to your story?  They are reduced to pantomime, as above.  No wonder the early silents dealt in such obvious images as the lady strapped to the tracks as the train approached and the mustache-twirling villain congratulated himself.

Pat Buchanan out at MSNBC

via STANLEY: MSNBC blacklists Buchanan – Washington Times.

Colleagues liked him:

“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said all his liberal interns would cringe when told they would be meeting Pat Buchanan. “They’d say, ‘Isn’t he an awful person? He’s so right-wing.’ But after a couple of days with him, they’d all want to adopt him as their father.”

Mr. Buchanan also was instrumental in advancing Rachel Maddow’s television career. She was a guest on a show Mr. Buchanan hosted, and he liked her so much that he recommended her for more work. Nowadays, she calls him “Uncle Pat.” It’s no exaggeration to say Mr. Buchanan was part of the MSNBC “family.”

But he did not fit the plan:

MSNBC is trying to establish itself as 100 percent liberal in an effort to corner the left-wing market, and [pressure group] Color of Change’s campaign threatened to tarnish that new image. Ordinarily, Mr. Buchanan would lobby and smooth his way out of the trouble that a book such as “Suicide of a Superpower” brought him. But he fell ill over Christmas and was unable to mount a fight back.

Not a good idea, says this writer:

Many commentators have expressed horror at MSNBC’s capitulation to extortion, but they miss the point that the capitulation came so easily because it suits the network’s effort to monopolize liberal viewership. This development is bad for American democracy, for it will create a bifurcated media within which left and right increasingly have no dialogue on the same TV station and, thus, no idea what each other is thinking.

The refusal by liberal outlets to air conservative views leads inexorably to myopic journalism that is cut off from mainstream opinion. Pat Buchanan will survive his ouster, but the quality of MSNBC’s output will take a terrible hit. Extreme liberals may rejoice, but the rest of us will be changing the channel.

If we hadn’t already, though it is interesting, with a flick of the thumb, to see what the other one-tenth thinks.