It was a crisp cool evening when I went to see "The Artist" at the Enzian Theater. Since I arrived early, I decided to get a beer at the Eden bar before the screening. All the propane space heaters belched out their blue and yellow flames that then turned the protective grid a bright orange.
Couples slowly arrived as I sketched and I quickly worked them in so my sketch didn't look too desolate and cold. Invariably people seem to look at their phones more than they look at each other.
"The Artist" was a magnificent black and white film that harkened back to the age of the silent movies. The male lead, named George Valentin, looked just like a young Walt Disney. He was charming and absolutely at home as a star in the silent films. His dog who also made appearances in the silent films was just as much of a ham.
Peppy Miller, a young actress trying to break into the film industry has a chance encounter with him and there were sparks and instant chemistry, they both loved dancing and putting on a good show. The talkies brushed silent movies aside and the George's career floundered while Peppy rode the new wave. The entire film was silent and it flowed wonderfully, not missing a beat. The one line at the end of the film felt just as iconic as "Rosebud" from Citizen Kane."
Anyway, the Florida Film Festival is running now through April 22nd. Be sure to get out and rub shoulders with some of the amazing directors and producers from the crop of this years films. It is ten days of film, food and fun. Sadly, like George Valentin, I seem to be out of the loop this year but I will try and get a sketch if I can.