26 May 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Artist; Martha Marcy May Marlene; Carancho; Chronicle; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

At a time when eye-straining, ear-bashing, hi-tech 3D movies are being drearily touted as the inevitable "future of cinema", Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist (2011, Entertainment, PG) reminds us that great movies – and great movie-making techniques – are timeless. An affectionate homage to the early days of cinema, this wonderful near-silent black-and-white beauty about a matinee idol threatened by the arrival of sound tips its cine-literate hat towards everything from the swashbuckling romps of Douglas Fairbanks to the pathos of Chaplin and the slapstick of Keaton. Narratively, the film intelligently acknowledges the die-hard templates of Singin' in the Rain and A Star is Born, while an hallucinogenic dream sequence in which our hero is haunted by the spectre of sound would not look out of place in a David Lynch movie. Hazanavicius's best picture Oscar-winner is no mere genre pastiche, »

- Mark Kermode

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