Sunday, March 4, 2012

"The Artist" flunks science

Finally caught "The Artist." Fine movie. It's no "Hugo." But a fine movie nonetheless. Being a nerd, I feel to compelled to point out three anachronisms and one science error. (Spoiler alert, yattayatta.)

Three anachronisms: The fist-pumping "Yesss! gesture and the term "Superstar" didn't exist in the late 1920s; tick marks for quotations in the silent dialogue cards didn't exist either. (They used inverted commas for quote marks in the 1920s -- and never used tick marks -- which spread like a disease thanks to desktop publishing in the late 1980s.)

One science error: when George Valentin set his old nitrate-stock film on fire, the film simmered languidly for about 15 minutes, giving his dog time to rescue him. As anyone who's seen "Inglourious Basterds" knows, the nitrate film would've gone off like rocket fuel and turned his house into an inferno in a matter of seconds.

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