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'The Artist': Black-and-white silent film not such a tough sell [video]

November 11, 2011 | 12:53 pm

Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo in The Artist
So when a director tells you he wants you to star in his new film, that's usually a good thing. When the film is envisioned as a black-and-white silent movie paying homage to the early years of filmmaking, the prospect becomes a little more daunting -- especially when the highest of high-tech movies, "Avatar," is just making a splash in theaters. Where would one get the financing for such a project? How will it play with audiences accustomed to a faster pace and, you know, dialogue?

But when the director is Michel Hazanavicius and the film is "The Artist," you jump in with both feet and enjoy the ride. In this clip from the Envelope Screening Series Q&A with Times film critic Kenneth Turan, cast members Berenice Bejo, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin discuss their initial reactions to hearing about the unusual film project. 


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--Elena Howe

Photo: French actors Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo star in "The Artist." Credit: Peter Iovino/The Weinstein Co.