Tommy Wiseau talks about “The Room” Rifftrax Live, James Franco in “The Disaster Artist” and his Hulu series “The Neighbors”

Tommy Wiseau is the director, producer, writer and star of the cult classic film “The Room”. Since the film was released back in 2003 it has achieved “Rocky Horror” like fame playing to midnight screenings non-stop to a huge fan base. Some called the film one of the worst ever made but true fans see “The Room” for what it really it, which is fun! The film was parodied live by the Rifftrax gang last year and is heading back to theaters again on January 28th, 2016. Media Mikes had a chance to catch up with Tommy again to discuss “The Room”, James Franco playing him in “The Disaster Artist” film adaptation and what else he is currently working on.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you feel about “The Room” being parodied by Rifftrax Live?
Tommy Wiseau: Yeah they reached out to me about a year ago about doing it. I liked what they did, I mean, I don’t support parts of it 100%, but it does show how fun “The Room” is. People take things too serious and the film isn’t made to be serious, it is made to be fun. If you haven’t seen the Rifftrax Live version of “The Room” in theaters, I would recommend it highly when it comes around again January 28th, 2016. And bring a big group of friends with you as well.

Mike Gencarelli: The film has been out for 13 years now, are you ever taken back by the continued interested in it year after year?
Tommy Wiseau: Yes, I am still surprised. I am happy that people are still talking about it and still seeing it in theaters. I also have been working a few new projects as well that I am excited for fans of “The Room” to see as well. I love touring with the film across the country. I usually show “The Room” and an episode of “The Neighbors” as a double header. It is a lot of fun to do and also getting to interact with the fans.

Mike Gencarelli: Last time we spoke back in 2011, you mentioned you were planning a 3D release for “The Room”; can we expect that soon?
Tommy Wiseau: Yeah that is something that I have wanted to do for a while. Making a film into 3D is definitely not an easy process. So yes, I still want to release “The Room” in 3D, but right now I am not sure if I want to reshoot the entire film in 3D or just convert it. But I am definitely still planning and exploring my options. Right now James Franco is making his film of “The Disaster Artist”, so I will let him have that and then I will focus more on the 3D after it is released.

Mike Gencarelli: Speaking of that, tell us about your feelings on James Franco playing you in the film adaption of Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s book “The Disaster Artist”?
Tommy Wiseau: I think James is one best actors in the business. I feel good that someone like him is playing me. Of course, I also feel a little like they are taking something away from me since it is based around my life and my movie. I hope that this is a big success for James since then in return I think it will also then bring more people to “The Room” and that’s good.

Mike Gencarelli: Exactly, I think that this will put your film back in the spotlight and also introduce it to a new audience…
Tommy Wiseau: Yes, exactly. I am hoping about that. James and his brothers are doing a very good job so far and I am excited to see it when it comes out later this year.

Mike Gencarelli: Do you have any involvement or input on the upcoming film?
Yeah James did speak with me about the role and I gave him some tips. My life is very complex but I believe he will do a good job. I also have a small part in the film as well, which is cool.

Mike Gencarelli: Did you enjoy playing the villain Linton Kitano in newly released “Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance”?
Tommy Wiseau: It is always great to play a villain, I loved it. This film was a very fun experience for me I can tell you that.

Mike Gencarelli: Your TV series “The Neighbors” has aired 6 episodes on Hulu; any plans for more episodes on that format?
Tommy Wiseau: Yes! Currently 6 episodes have aired on Hulu and the fans really have been excited about what we have so far. I am currently working on another 6 episodes for Hulu. We have been also exploring releasing the episodes in animated format as well. So that is something that we were trying and it also getting a good response. I hope to have the next 6 episodes on Hulu by the end of 2016.

Mike Gencarelli: You did a Reddit AMA last year where you mentioned a new project called “The Foreclosure”, what can you tell us?
Tommy Wiseau: Yeah that is a project that I am currently working on as well as “The Neighbors”. “The Foreclosure” focuses on the housing market right now and looks into the current situation that we are facing today with people not being able to pay for their houses and being forced to foreclose. It is a current topic. There is also another project that I have that is currently untitled but that I cannot talk about right now…maybe in about 3-4 months, I can. But a lot of very excited stuff coming up for my fans!

The Sixth Annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Announces Artist Lineup

ROB ZOMBIE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, MASTODON, AMON AMARTH, MACHINE HEAD, CHILDREN OF BODOM, BEHEMOTH AND MANY MORE

Tickets Go On Sale Friday March 22nd at 12 Noon

Tour Starts June 29th In San Bernardino, CA

(BEVERLY HILLS, CA) March 18th – Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, the world’s biggest hard and heavy music touring festival announces its electrifying sixth-year lineup. Artists performing on the 2013 thunderous fest include main stage metal and horror legend, festival closer, ROB ZOMBIE, plus, the triple gold certified FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and a monster lineup that includes additional main stage bands MASTODON and AMON AMARTH. The festival area is led by stage closers CHILDREN OF BODOM and MACHINE HEAD as well as BEHEMOTH, JOB FOR A COWBOY, EMMURE, BORN OF OSIRIS, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, BUTCHER BABIES, BATTLECROSS, HUNTRESS, THROWN INTO EXILE and CITY IN THE SEA. Four stages will be presented this year for the first time ever and the stages include the ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAIN STAGE, THE JAGERMEISTER STAGE, MUSICIANS INSTITUTE STAGE, as well as, the SUMERIAN RECORDS/HEADBANG FOR THE HIGHWAY CONCOURSE STAGE, (local bands performing on the Sumerian Records/Headbang for the Highway Stage will be announced in June).

All tickets go on sale March 22nd at 12:00 Noon local venue time via
www.rockstarmayhemfest.com or www.livenation.com. The tour will stop in 26 cities across the United States and Canada as it makes its way to the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas, Texas on August 4th, 2013. Dates and venues are listed below.

Get a sneak peak of new FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH music:

A rock icon and auteur filmmaker with insight and unlimited vision, Rob Zombie has continuously challenged audiences as he stretches the boundaries of music, film, and publishing. Now, the seven-time Grammy nominated recording artist releases his fifth solo album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, which streets April 23, and includes the first single, “ Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Super Town,” along with such tracks as “Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga,” “Lucifer Rising,” “Behold! The Pretty Filthy Creatures” and a heavy-duty cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band.” Rob Zombie’s Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is the first release on his new label, Zodiac Swan, through T-Boy Records/UME. Zombie’s also written and directed his 6th feature film, “The Lords of Salem”, in theaters April 19th (Anchor Bay).

After three gold albums in a row and ten consecutive top ten radio singles, Five Finger Death
Punch continue their evolution in 2013 by releasing a new single in early May, followed by their fourth studio album in June. FFDP are set to perform live at this year’s Revolver Golden
Gods Awards show in Los Angeles on May 2 and will warm up for Mayhem playing this summer’s most prestigious European festivals, amongst them UK’s Download Festival and
Germany’s Rock am Ring and Rock im Park.

The World’s Greatest Freestyle Motocross team THE METAL MULISHA is also confirmed to
perform on most dates.

Sponsors for the 2013 ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL include title sponsor ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK and stage sponsors JAGERMEISTER, MUSICIANS INSTITUTE, and SUMERIAN RECORDS. Festival sponsors include IBANEZ GUITARS, ZIPPO, METAL BLADE RECORDS, NAPALM RECORDS, SQUATCH SNACK STICKS, FUCK CANCER and KEEP A BREAST. Media partners include REVOLVER MAGAZINE and ZUUS MEDIA.

In addition to catching their favorite bands live, fans can take part in a number of festival
activities, including playing the newest video games, perusing vendors, attending autograph
signing sessions and a slew of various interactive activities that will only add to the festival
experience.

ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK will be sampling their products and providing awesome surprises for all attendees. Rockstar will also present the VIP/Contest winner area designated as THE
ROCKSTAR LOUNGE and the festival area PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR TENT where fans can sample ice cold Rockstar and get autographs from their favorite bands.

Addition to the festival’s music and arts, MUSICIANS INSTITUTE and the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival have partnered to create the Rockstar Mayhem Independent Artist Scholarship! This scholarship fully covers tuition and material fees for a two quarter IAP
certificate (Room, Boarding and Travel are not included.) The application period runs from
March 18 until June 1, 2013. Applicants must visit www.mi.edu/mayhem-rock-festivalscholarship
to enter.

Fans can go to www.rockstarmayhemfest.com to keep up with additional details as they are
released.

Make sure to check out this brand new video announcing the official 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival line up and stay tuned to Mayhem TV for more video updates and features coming soon!

Tour dates are as follows:

Date City Venue
6/29 San Bernardino, CA San Manuel Amphitheater
6/30 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
7/2 Boise, ID Idaho Center Amphitheatre
7/3 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheater
7/5 Phoenix, AZ Desert Sky Pavilion
7/6 Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheatre
7/7 Denver, CO Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
7/10 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/12 Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
7/13 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain
7/14 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake PAC
7/16 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center
7/17 Bangor, ME Bangor Waterfront
7/19 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
7/20 Saratoga Springs, NY SPAC
7/21 Hartford, CT The Comcast Theatre
7/23 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
7/24 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
7/26 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
7/27 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
7/28 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
7/30 Atlanta, GA Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
7/31 Tampa, FL Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds
8/2 Austin, TX Austin360 Amphitheater
8/3 The Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/4 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion

ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL STAGES AND ARTISTS:

ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAIN STAGE
ROB ZOMBIE
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH
MASTODON
AMON AMARTH

MUSICIANS INSTITUTE STAGE JAGERMEISTER STAGE
CHILDREN OF BODOM MACHINE HEAD
BEHEMOTH JOB FOR A COWBOY
EMMURE BUTCHER BABIES
BORN OF OSIRIS BATTLECROSS
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE HUNTRESS
THROWN INTO EXILE

SUMERIAN RECORDS/HEADBANG FOR THE HIGHWAY STAGE
CITY IN THE SEA
3 LOCAL OPENERS

Blu-ray Review “The Artist”

Directed by: Michel Hazanavicius
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Release Date: Jun 26, 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 100 minutes

Film: 3.5 out 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“The Artist” won Best Picture in the last year’s 84th Academy Awards. I love the film but it was not my favorite film of the year. It is unique, obviously, since it is a silent/B&W period film and don’t take me wrong it is really quite enjoyable. Berenice Bejo is so cute and completely lovable.  She has this amazing film presence. Jean Dujardin deserved his Best Actor award, since what he did in this film was extremely challenging and he gave an amazing performance. “The Artist” not only has comedy, it also has romance and plenty of drama. So if you can handle a  wordless film driven by an amazing score, then I would highly recommend this, just don’t expect to see 2011’s best film.

The film takes place in a 1927 Hollywood. Silent movie superstar, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is facing the biggest challenge of his career…the rise of the talkies. This rise is also leading to his fall into oblivion. Though it has a complete opposite effect for his love interest the young Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo). She started off as an extra with George but hits stardom big with the talkies. Through these stories our two stars destinies are intertwined.

The Blu-ray comes in a really neat slipcase cause, that is definitely worth mentioning. This release also comes with a Blu-ray + UltraViolet streaming copy, which I absolutely love. The video resolution looks stunning and sharp with its B&W 1080p transfer, presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The audio included is phenomenal with its Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track. It is funny when you comment on a silent film’s audio track as being great…but the score just sounds amazing.

The special features are decent but lacking any commentary tracks. There is a Q&A with the Filmmakers and Cast, which is fun. “The Artist: The Making Of A Hollywood Love Story” is a great behind-the-scenes look at the production. “Hollywood As A Character: The Locations of The Artist” takes a look at the filming locations showcasing them as members of the cast in a sense. Lastly there is a very funny Blooper Reel included. Overall decent but I expected a little more from the Best Picture of the Year’s Blu-ray release.

“Hugo,” “The Artist” lead list of 84th Annual Academy Awards

“Hugo,” director Martin Scorsese’s loving look at the early history of film, leads all nominees in the race for Oscar gold.  The film received 11 total nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Close behind is “The Artist,” a silent, black and white film that includes Best Picture among its 10 nods.  “War Horse” and “Moneyball” followed with 6 nominations each, including Best Picture.
A total of nine films were nominated for Best Picture.  Last year, in an attempt to quell the outrage that “The Dark Knight” did not grab a Best Picture nod, the Academy increased the number of picture nominees from 5 to 10.  This year the rule was changed to nominate up to 10 films, based on membership voting.  To be eligible for a Best Picture nomination a film must be listed as first on at least 250 membership ballots.  Other nominees for Best Picture:  “The Descendants,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “The Help,” “Midnight in Paris” and “The Tree of Life.”
Besides Scorsese, director nominations went to Michel Hazanavicius for “The Artist,” Alexander Payne for “The Descendants,” “Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris” and Terrence Malick for “The Tree of Life.”
Best Actor nominees:  Demian Bechir – “A Better Life,” George Clooney – “The Descendants,” Jean Dujardin – “The Artist,” Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and Brad Pitt – “Moneyball.”
Best Actress nods went to Glenn Close – “Albert Nobbs,” Viola Davis – “The Help,” Rooney Mara – “The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo,” Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady” and Michelle Williams – “My Weekend With Marilyn.”
Best Supporting Actor nominees include Kenneth Branagh – “My Weekend With Marilyn,” Jonah Hill – “Moneyball,” Nick Nolte – “Warrior,” Christopher Plummer – “Beginners” and Max von Sydow – “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”
Best Supporting Actress choices include Berenice Bejo – “The Artist,” Jessica Chastain – “The Help,” Melissa McCarthy – “Brodesmaids,” Janet McTeer – “Albert Nobbs” and Octavia Spencer – “The Help.”
Look for a special “Behind the Screen” later this week when I give my thoughts on this years nomines.
Here is a complete list of nominees:

Best Picture

“The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer

“The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer

“The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers

“Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers

“Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers

“Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers

“The Tree of Life” Nominees to be determined

“War Horse” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role

Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”

George Clooney in “The Descendants”

Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”

Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”

Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”

Nick Nolte in “Warrior”

Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”

Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Actress in a Leading Role

Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”

Viola Davis in “The Help”

Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”

Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”

Actress in a Supporting Role

Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”

Jessica Chastain in “The Help”

Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”

Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”

Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

Animated Feature Film

“A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli

“Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal

“Kung Fu Panda 2” Jennifer Yuh Nelson

“Puss in Boots” Chris Miller

“Rango” Gore Verbinski

Art Direction

“The Artist” Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan

“Hugo” Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

“Midnight in Paris” Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil

“War Horse” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Cinematography

“The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth

“Hugo” Robert Richardson

“The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki

“War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design

“Anonymous” Lisy Christl

“The Artist” Mark Bridges

“Hugo” Sandy Powell

“Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor

“W.E.” Arianne Phillips

Directing

“The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius

“The Descendants” Alexander Payne

“Hugo” Martin Scorsese

“Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen

“The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick

Documentary (Feature)

“Hell and Back Again” Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner

“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman

“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

“Pina” Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel

“Undefeated” TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Documentary (Short Subject)

“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin

“God Is the Bigger Elvis” Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson

“Incident in New Baghdad”James Spione

“Saving Face” Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Film Editing

“The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius

“The Descendants” Kevin Tent

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

“Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker

“Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen

Foreign Language Film

“Bullhead” Belgium

“Footnote”

“In Darkness” Poland

“Monsieur Lazhar” Canada

“A Separation” Iran

Makeup

“Albert Nobbs” Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng

“The Iron Lady” Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score)

“The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams

“The Artist” Ludovic Bource

“Hugo” Howard Shore

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias

“War Horse” John Williams

Music (Original Song)

“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie

“Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Short Film (Animated)

“Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon

“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

“La Luna” Enrico Casarosa

“A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe

“Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)

“Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane

“Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren

“The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George

“Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey

“Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø

Sound Editing

“Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce

“Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

“War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Sound Mixing

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson

“Hugo” Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

“Moneyball” Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin

“War Horse” Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson

“Hugo” Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

“Real Steel” Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

“Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan

“The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon

“Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius

“Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig

“Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor

“Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen

“A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi

Film Review “The Artist”

Starring: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo and John Goodman
Directed by: Michel Hazanavicius
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 47 minutes
The Weinstein Company

Our Score: 5 out 5 stars

What a great time early Hollywood must have been like. Then you could turn up at any film studio, get work as an extra and, if you caught the right eye, build a career. It’s 1928 and the reigning king of the movies is George Valentin (Dujardin). We meet him at the premiere of his latest adventure film, a spy film that features George and his trusty sidekick, known to fans as the Dog (Uggie). While mingling with fans afterwards, he poses for a photograph with a female fan (Bejo) who takes the opportunity to give him a peck on the cheek as the cameras flash. The next day the trade papers run the photo on the front page. The photo does not make George’s wife, Doris (Penelope Ann Miller) happy. Of course, as someone who sits about the house reading fan magazines just so she can deface any photo of George she comes across, nothing much does. It also angers studio head Al Zimmer, who blames the photo for pushing the release of the new film to page 5. Yet soon the lives of the star, the fan and the mogul will merge into one of the most original films of this decade.

A nominee for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, where Dujardin was named Best Actor, “The Artist” is a beautifully photographed story about accepting change even when it frightens you. George is not impressed with the new miracle of talking pictures. He decides he will write and direct his own film, using the skills he’s honed as an actor to tell the story without sound. His studio, however, disagrees. They’ve cast their newest up and coming star, Peppy Miller (the one time photographed fan/film extra), in a talkie. While doing a radio interview Peppy disdains the actors of silent Hollywood, dismissing their acting as “mugging for the camera.” This upsets George, who learns that his film will open the same day as Peppy’s. As George leaves the mostly empty theatre showing his film he finds himself caught in a mob of people. He realizes they are all crowded in front of the theatre playing Peppy’s movie. The public has spoken. But George will not.

In 1981 I had the great fortune to attend a screening of Abel Gance’s silent classic “Napoleon,” accompanied by a full orchestra. It was there that I learned that film is, first and foremost, a visual art form. Minutes could go by without a title card and you never lost a beat in the story. The same is true with “The Artist.” As George and Peppy begin to kindle a relationship their eyes and body language tell a story that words can’t begin to do justice to. The cast is brilliant. Dujardin is sure to earn an Academy Award nomination for his work here and, if he wins, he would be only the second Best Actor winner to win for a silent film role. Ironically the first winner, Emil Jennings, saw his career in Hollywood fade after the invention of talking pictures due to his heavy German accent. Bejo matches Dujardin scene for scene, giving the film an “A Star is Born” feel. Other notable performances are delivered by Goodman, Miller, James Cromwell and Malcolm McDowell. The film is beautifully photographed and the original score, by composer Ludovic Bource, is the perfect accompaniment.