How often do you see a silent movie two nights in a row?
But then how often is there a brand-new silent film at the movie theater?
After seeing the previews for "The Artist" several times, I was pretty sure I'd enjoy it.
And I did, except for the man with the oral fixation chewing loudly on a plastic straw one seat away.
Just for the record, that was after he'd polished off a sandwich (wrapped in foil), a canned Diet Coke and a king-size fountain soda
But I digress.
After all the silent movies I've seen in the past four-plus years at the Silent Music Revival and James River Film Society events, I've actually seen a fair amount of silent film.
I mean, I'm no Jameson Price, but I've probably seen more than your average bear.
But I think the most recent one I ever saw was 1948 and even then, it was highly unusual to make a silent film that late.
So of course a French film director decides last year to make a black and white silent film tribute to Hollywoodland.
Count me in.
The hero looked like a matinee idol (and had the greatest smile in his eyes), the photography was exquisite and the music perfectly attuned to the scenes.
I know Kim Novak is upset about them using a snippet of music from "Vertigo" but it didn't bother me.
The romance was suggested but never developed, only hinted at.
But you should have seen the way they smiled at each other Oh, it was romance.
What I was curious about was what the audience's reaction to seeing a silent film would be.
Besides hearing every cough (and straw chewer), you clearly heard comments ("That's a gun") and reactions (a woman's audible gasp when the hero carelessly stepped off a curb and almost got hit by a car).
Everything unfolded but not with words, only with movements, gestures and nuance.
Which I can (and did) totally appreciate as far as telling the story went.
But no words? In a romance?
In a movie, fine, but that would never fly, at least for me, in real life.
If you're going to go romantic, it's got to be wordy or just shoot me now.