Portraits of lost silent film stars

In a reminder of the old becoming the new yet once again, as you all know unless you’ve been in a cave somewhere, the black-and-white silent film THE ARTIST won three golden dudes including Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. This film’s success makes relevant this lovely slideshow from The New Yorker of portraits of forgotten actors, such as Louise Brooks dramatically posed above, from that silent era to accompany David Denby’s piece on “the art of silent acting” in the magazine. Although I’m happy for everyone that was involved with the film and I particularly appreciated the aspirations of their intentions, I do ultimately agree with David’s review of the film:

“The Artist,” a likable spoof, doesn’t acknowledge that world of heroic ambition and madness—it’s bland, sexless, and too simple. For all its genuine charm, it left me restless and dissatisfied, dreaming of those wilder and grander movies.

If you were inspired by THE ARTIST, you can create your own charming black and white silent film complete with piano (and you can insert your own dramatic captions) at The Artistifier. Unleash your inner YouTube auteur!

And lastly, The Chris Matthews Show mocks Mitt Romney’s campaign to be the GOP nominee for president in this pitch perfect parody of The Artist: