To recap really quickly, the Future Classic Movies (FCM) Blogathon involves predicting films that will still be drawing audiences on TV, or a chip in our brains, or whatever form of communication exists, 30 or 40 years from now. The vast majority of the posts involve films made during or after 2000; these will be as old then as the ones we watch on TCM now.
My FCM pick is The Artist (2011). Regular readers of this blog know that I adore this film. It is a little miracle — a silent film premiering in the 21st century. It was made by people who really love movies and stocked their film with tons of homages, tributes and shoutouts to the classics. It has romance, humor, suspense and melancholy. The acting in it is superb. It was beautifully written, art-directed, and shot. There is something about it that makes me cry every time I see it. (I’ve actually plunked money down to see this three times. Once I was actually on vacation.) It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and it won five: Best Director, Best Picture, Best Costume Design, Best Score and Best Actor. But none of these reasons are why I chose this film to endure into the middle of this unpredictable 21st century and beyond.
Every day our lives get a little more complicated and a little more technological. As recently as 2006, the vast majority people had only a vague idea of what Facebook was. No one had heard the term “social media.” Phones were decidedly dumb; they made calls, and that was about it, at least in the US, where SMS hadn’t yet caught on. Now billions of people are using social media every day. Approximately 20,000 tweets go out every 10 seconds. You can watch a movie, video-chat with someone on the other side of the world, or run a business, all from a smartphone. And the pace of new technology only seems to accelerate rapidly. Economically, the upheaval of 2008 seems to have stabilized somewhat but lots of people lost their jobs and homes, and technology is ending some jobs and creating others. Everything in life is changing so quickly that the term “radical transformation” comes to mind, although nothing is happening quite that fast. I love all the technology, but sometimes even I feel a little overwhelmed, a little bit blindsided…a little bit like George Valentin. He would understand if he was here, because this is what The Artist is at least in part about: coping with change. (It’s about love, loyalty, friendship, the creative process, paying it forward, and really great shoes as well. But I digress.)
The world the characters inhabit is completely shaken with the advent of sound, and they each provide an example of a different coping strategy, from stubborn disregard (George) to grudging acceptance and pragmatism (Al Zimmer, the director played by John Goodman) to leveraging new opportunities that open up and helping others to reconcile themselves with a new reality (Peppy). We’ll all have to adapt, and since we’ll be adapting well into the foreseeable future, this film is always going to be relatable and relevant. There’s a few people out there who didn’t like this film. To those people I say, get used to it…The Artist isn’t going anywhere, and neither are the rest of these picks, all films that I believe will persevere:
from The Cinementals:
Mulholland Drive — Will
Kill Bill, Vol. 1 & 2 — Jill
O Brother Where Art Thou — Carley
Bride & Prejudice — Jennifer
There Will Be Blood — Drew
The Toy Story trilogy — Michael
Brick — Chris
Update: Two more great FCM choices are in:
Many thanks to everyone who participated in the very first blogathon I’ve ever run. I hope you had as much fun writing these as I did reading them. To paraphrase a title…there will be more 🙂