I’m not totally sure why I almost never go to movies – once someone drags me to one, I typically enjoy it – but it’s just not something I do. I can’t remember when I last watched a movie at home – and the last movie I had been to ‘at the show’ was “This is It”. I know – weird, right?
So when my friend Kay wanted to take me to see “The Artist” for my recent birthday – and then told me it was a SILENT movie – I was curious.
We went to see it at the Catlow Theater here in Barrington, which dates back to the original silent movies – a perfect venue for the movie.
I was totally entranced by the film! Amazed by how deep, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching it was. As you might have noticed, I am the woman in love with words. So I was shocked that a movie in which there weren’t even many written parts – thus, no words could be so evocative.
I saw the movie the night after my birthday. I’m in the “Wait! how did I get to be this OLD??” stage of life. So that night, my thoughts were that it was about being washed up, past your prime, a has-been.
But as I reflected further I saw a few other themes that really resonated with me.
The importance of change
To me this was probably the primary message of the film. Life is constantly in flux and thus fame and fortune are almost always ephemeral. And regardless of the ‘fame and fortune’ part (though that was central to this movie) our lives become stale, dull and predictable without change. “Change or die” – it’s true. Though, as you might have noticed, many of the dead are walking around. Perhaps you’re working with one, or – worse – married to someone whose soul has died, but whose body is trudging along. Or worst of all – maybe it’s YOU! Doesn’t have to be – take a lesson from this movie and find a way to go with the flow, change with the times, and be flexible.
The dangers of hubris
A related lesson was that pride really DOES go before a fall. Need another such lesson? Kodak. In my film-camera days I could not have imagined Kodak going bankrupt. Just because you are the ‘king of the hill’ now doesn’t mean you will always be (didya hear that Apple?)
Remember those who got you here
There was a powerful lesson in the movie in honoring those who have helped you succeed. Need another such lesson? Bonnie Raitt. She routinely thanks and helps the (largely African-American) blueswomen who preceded her and from whose well she drew
The love of animals is one of life’s greatest gifts
I don’t want to spoil the movie for you if you’ve not seen it, so I haven’t been giving specifics – but if you’ve seen even a TINY preview or read anything about the movie you’ll know that an adorable Jack Russell terrier plays a significant role in the movie. If there was a hero in this movie, it was Uggie, for sure. And when the movie felt bleak, Uggie provided love and hope.
I really loved this movie a lot. Did you see it? What did you think?