At the weekend I saw two movies: Spielberg’s adaptation of Tintin The Secret of the Unicorn and Michel Haznavicius’s The Artist. Both movies are set in the1930s. Spielberg put Tintin on steroids. Tintin’s wit and charm disappeared in constant action and visual fireworks. Spielberg overdid it.
The Artist is the opposite. It is a silent, black-and-white movie that tells the story of technology and progress, through the revolt of the main protagonist, brilliantly played by the French artist Jean Dujardin, against making ‘talking’ movies. For him making movies is an art of expression and body language, which should not be diluted by sound. The artist is losing his Don-Quixotean-type battle against talking movies till the very end…… (see the movie). The Artist shows how so little technology could convey powerful messages. Spielberg’s Tintin shows how a lot of technology can minimise the existing message. And, even more telling, the cinema was packed for Tintin and empty for The Artist.