Often deliberate artistic intention is confused by viewers with technical problems or ineptness, and the latest film to suffer from audiences not knowing what they’re in for is Michel Hazanavicius‘s The Artist. As The Telegraph reports, the film has led some British patrons to ask for their money back because they didn’t know if was a silent movie. That may spell trouble for the film when the Oscar favorite goes wider in America.
Though it would be easy to typify this as a generation gap problem, the truth is that some audience members are plugged in and have seen the trailer, read the websites, and maybe know all the spoilers before seeing a movie. But evidence suggests that they are a small minority. The other side of that coin is the people who go see a movie because it’s talked about, or because they just want to go to the cinema, and are surprised at the results.
But of late we’ve seen small situations like this reported globally. Signs at a theater explaining that Tree of Life is an art film and the lawsuit against Drive both got national attention – partly because of the ignorance involved – which makes it harder to know how big a problem it is. Currently The Artist is in limited release in America and is on a little over 200 screens. With the film the front-runner in the Oscar race, we may yet see it have these complaints escalate once The Artist goes into wider release.
What’s your favorite dumb complaint against an art film?