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The Artist by Ludovic Bource (Review)

posted Dec 5, 2011, 8:51 PM by Kaya Savas

Score has always been the one constant through narrative filmmaking. If modern day films share one major aspect with the silent film era (besides storytelling) it's musical score. Before filmmakers had the ability to record dialogue and sound effects they relied on live music played by a piano player inside the theater for every show. Then finally when sound could be recorded onto film music was the first thing. It's just a natural storytelling device, and to this day remains the most important aspect of filmmaking. So, what would you say if there was a silent film released in 2011? For The Artist we do indeed have a silent film made in 2011, and just like when film started out we have score front and center.

Ludovic Bource's score is a stunning reminder of how score functioned when it was the only sound the audience would here. The vital importance of this music is so unique when compared to other films today. The score on this album works hand in hand with the actors to tell every bit of the story, and what a fabulous experience it is. The music moves up and down and you can almost visualize movement because of how structured to the story it is. The score as a whole is rich and full of different sections of emotions. The characters shine through as the score defines every bit of the characters. While the score has certain genre tendencies it definitely doesn't feel like something composed back in the 30's or 40's. It does have a lot of musical stylings that represent the time period of the story, but it's no different than a modern day composer incorporating setting and atmosphere into a score. Just because the music has a 1930's feel doesn't mean the score is trying to be a score from that era. This is indeed a modern silent film score and a beautiful one at that.

It's very rare to get to experience something like this. If you wanted to you could listen to the score separately and then see the film and how it molds to the picture. Sure you can go back and watch some great Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin but having an original recording of a silent film score separate for release is a unique experience. I highly recommend everyone take a listen to Bource's magnificent work.
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