I watched 'The Artist' tonight. I thought it was a lovely film, beautifully crafted and performed. And I loved the fact that I was watching a black and white silent picture in 4:3 format made in 2011! A very sweet Hollywood love story, both within the film and to Hollywood, a Hollywood that is long gone (except for the occasional gem like this).
It evoked a feeling in me, one that I haven't felt in years, from before I ever made a film. The last time I had that feeling was on a VIP tour of the Warner Bros. studio back-lot in 2001, I think. Seeing the sets and backdrops to many of my favourite films, and knowing so many more were filmed there, and so many legends of the screen walked and worked among those buildings.
I guess it was a feeling of nostalgia, a reminder of when and why I fell in love with movies. The same feeling I had when I was a kid and dreamed of one day being a part of that. And I do mean Hollywood, a part of the linage that brought Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, John Ford, Clint Eastwood, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, The Searchers, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Harvey. A naive sense of a dream I had to make a certain kind of movie.
I think 'The Artist' reminded me that films like that can still be made. That there's still a tradition there and although everything around us is changing at blinding speed, there is still room to tell a story, a good story and to take your time with it. I feel like I've been rushing too much. Scrambling to make something, anything, and not taking the time to think, breathe, write, draw and remember why I fell in love with films, and know it's alright to do that.
I think what I should do, what I'm going to do, is stop rushing and panicking and jumping on everything that comes along just to get something done. I'm going to finish 'Derelict' and then take some time to figure out what the next step is, and make sure it's the right one for me, for the me who fell in love with movies all those years ago. I need to remember, and keep hold of that memory. That's my light in the dark.