the artist

Last night, I went to see that new movie “The Artist” with a friend. If you don’t know what I am talking about you should watch the preview ( it is basically a silent movie.


Now, a bit about my history with movies. With the exception of my blip trip at someone’s request (for their birthday) to go to Harry Potter at the Imax, I have not seen a movie trailer that inspired me enough to go pay full price to see it in a theater in almost 7 years. Actually no, it’s been 5 years. The last movie that inspired me to that extent was 300 (and boy, was that worth it). I watch a fair amount of movies of all different types but I tend to wait until they are free on youtube or available for a dollar somewhere. To put it politely, there are not very many good movies made – they all seem to be more about the personalities, the special effects, or the extent they can create shocking moments of one kind or another – the art of telling a captivating story is just lost.


So then, I started reading about the controversy over Uggie the Dog in the Artist. The dog in question has renewed the debate over whether or not animals should be awarded Oscars. So then I read a bit about the movie – a silent movie in this day and age? What are they, nuts? Or worse, it is going to be some obtuse arty endeavor that just gives you brain strain to watch. The trailer looked good, kind of cheesy – she-uses him to climb to fame – kind of story but the music was good and I decided to go.




The trailer in no way represents what the story is about or how amazing this film is. I have not been to a film that absolutely grabbed you, pulled you in and took you on such a wild ride of emotions. The whole audience was on the same page. Which was amazing…it’s a silent movie – complete with the text cards – and half of the dialogue you never see the text for, but you get every nuance of every conversation. I don’t want to spoil it so suffice it to say – go see it, if you can – go with someone because you need someone to punch in the arm and go “I can’t believe he is going to be such an ass!” And the climatic scene towards the end? You need someone to hold on to.


My friend and I were talking about what current actors and actresses (of the Hollywood variety) we thought would be capable of doing what the heroine in this movie (played by Berenice Bejo) did. She had several scenes in which she walked across the screen and everyone got absolutely everything going on with the character. There was no question and no misinterpretation. We came up with one – Glenn Close (ignoring the new movie she is in, but you know it was one of those personal projects).


The capacity to express emotion and thought in silence and without gesture is a very, very rare thing –sort of, regular people do it all the time. The problem is, will anyone notice? Will they notice their own expressions?


I found this recently and am reposting it. It is from an excellent book, Emotional Genius: How Emotions Can Save Your Life by Karla McLaren. If I was an actor, I would read this list as a way of finding my motivation within a character. As a person, I read it and go “Oh…that makes sense.” And am reminding to remember these things as I move through life.  


Anger (resentment, jealously, hatred, shame, guilt, boredom, apathy) tells us that proper boundaries should be  maintained or rebuilt. The questions to ask are: “What must be protected?” or “What must be restored?”

Guilt and Shame restore integrity, self-respect and proper behaviors. The questions to ask are: “Who has been hurt?” “What must be made right?”


Fear (worry, anxiety, panic, terror) is our vigor, intuition and our focused awareness of the world around us. The question to ask is: “What action must I take?”


Confusion (masking fear). By unmasking confusion you can revive your intuition and your instincts and discover what is preventing you from moving forward. Ask yourself whenever you are confused or indecisive about any choice: “What is my intention?” then ask “What action must I take?”


* Sadness restores flow, relaxation and rejuvenation to us. Both questions must be asked: “What must be released?” and “What must be restored?” (the second question removes the blockage).


Grief tells us the loss has already occurred. The question to ask is: “What must be mourned?”


Depression tells us that what we’re doing and where we’re going doesn’t match up with our inner desires. It is ingenious stagnation. The questions to ask: “Where has my energy gone?” and “Why did I send it away?”


Contentment tells us we’re living up to our own expectations, we’ve accomplished a goal and we’re aligned with our morals. Statement: “Thank you for renewing my faith in myself.“ Acknowledge this feeling and like all others let it go.


Happiness is anticipating a bright future. Thank your happiness for this up and celebratory feeling. Trust happiness to arise naturally as you continue to acknowledge, move through and act on the guidance of your emotions.


Joy comes forth when we feel communion and inspiration. Again acknowledge this feeling which shows you that you are honoring yourself. Continue to follow the light on your path and more joy is yours.


Exhilaration arises when we try to cement self in happiness. It is comprised on ungrounded, skittish, distracted and addictive behaviors. It is the flip side of depression and those same questions can be asked. Also ask yourself: “How can I get back in my body?”


RESOURCE: Emotional Genius: How Emotions Can Save Your Life by Karla McLaren


c.2012. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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