You've been Warnered
November 4, 2011 10:55 PM   Subscribe

French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius wrote and "directed" the film La Classe Americaine (YT clip/full) in 1993, comprised entirely of scenes from Warner Brothers movies. Warner agreed to let the French TV channel Canal+ use its 4000-movie catalog free of charge and rights for a month, resulting in a pastiche parody of Citizen Kane, in which two journalists investigate the cryptic meaning Orson Welles' last words.

After La Classe, Hazanavicius directed two films lampooning the James Bond ouevre : OSS 117 - Nest of Spies and 0SS 117 - Lost in Rio, both starring actor Jean Dujardin. Which brings us to 2011 - Hazanavicius and Dujardin have just released a new film (via Warner Brothers in America) entitled The Artist, a heartfelt, old-school romance without the aid of spoken dialogue or sound, [p]rojected in black-and-white in the classic 4:3 aspect ratio...

From the Variety review: Rather than using the harsh, stagebound look of the period, director of photography Guillaume Schiffman embraces the softer, more glamorous lensing of '40s-era Hollywood productions, shooting on color stock and then converting it to black-and-white in post. The look flatters the cast, especially Dujardin, whose incandescent charm comes through just fine with his arsenal of arched eyebrows, wry smiles and the other nonverbal tricks.

The Artist wins audience award in Austin
posted by obscurator (14 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Loved the 2 OSS films. Looking forward to the Artist.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:05 PM on November 4, 2011

Yeah... the OSS films were much better than expected -- especially the second one... certainly, I'll be curious to see what they do going forward.
posted by ph00dz at 11:50 PM on November 4, 2011

amazing Youtube... nothing to add
posted by evil_esto at 12:25 AM on November 5, 2011

Is there a subtitled video of the "two journalists" YT?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 1:09 AM on November 5, 2011

I was unable to find any subtitled portions of La Classe Americaine, though still had I smell a mefi project?
posted by obscurator at 1:32 AM on November 5, 2011

Just for you, PostIrony, here's a translation of the "two journalists" clip. (The brackets are a couple sections I couldn't make out.)


Peter [Hoffman]: My guts hurt... It's []... I can't manage to digest it. You're right about
"ouiche Lorraine", I was sure it was "quiche."

Steven [Redford]: Good--

Peter: Don't hassle me with your stories, I tell you my guts hurt, I've got the mega shits, dammit, the mega shits...

Steven: Excuse me--

Peter: Excuse me! Guts hurt! Gotta go shit gotta go shit!


Steven: OK-- one, you put down my book of isometric exercises immediately. Thank you. And two, tell me what you're doing in my office, please.

Dave: Nothing. Except that I just got some information worth Page One. The death of George wasn't an accident-- he was murdered.

Steven: Care to share how you know that?

Dave: It's very simple. I had a chat with my friend Deep Throat.

Steven: Oh shit, Deep Throat. But that's unbelievable.

Dave: But now you've got a way to advance the investigation.

Steven: What's that supposed to mean?

Dave: Nothing, except that you're [incompetent?]

Steven: Call me a loser? And you think you're the best journalist in the world! It's unbelievable!

Dave: "Best journalist in the world! It's unbelievable!"

Steve: That's enough! [something about my colleague is having a mega shit]. And let me tell you something about Deep Throat. He's my source, so fuck off.

Secretary: Excuse me, gentlemen... Peter made a big racket in the bathroom.


Peter: Wow. ... Steven! You won't believe it. My guts don't hurt any more. It's all out. But on the other hand nobody better go in the bathroom, it's all over everywhere.

Steven: Shit! Go!


Steven: Boss, boss! We've got a problem. We need to talk to you.

Boss [Robards]: It's about Georges Abitbol?

Steven: No. The toilet-- Peter got it all blocked up.

Peter: It's not my fault, boss. I was sick.

Boss: Must be the burgers.
posted by zompist at 4:52 AM on November 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

I've been all over the Artist since I saw the preview. I'd heard of the OSS films (I'm a big old Bond fan) but hadn't seen them. Thanks for making the connection for me.

Sadly I didn't see The Artist at AFF, but it is coming back to the Alamo.
posted by immlass at 8:17 AM on November 5, 2011

OSS:Lost in Rio is free streaming if you have Amazon Prime
posted by govtdrone at 9:13 AM on November 5, 2011

OSS looks good, but it also seems to cover ground that Mike Myers trod in 1999. No?
posted by bicyclefish at 11:45 AM on November 5, 2011

The lack of subtitles for La classe americaine made it less awesome than I thought.
posted by Meathamper at 1:27 PM on November 5, 2011

OSS looks good, but it also seems to cover ground that Mike Myers trod in 1999. No?
The recent OSS 117 movies are a send-up of the half-realistic Eurospy movies of the 50-60s (the first original OSS 117 movie from 1957, the early James Bond ones). They both parody the content and the visual style of those movies, down to the use of rear projection during the driving scenes. The Austin Powers series spoof the later James Bond movies with their over-the-top villains and gadgetry.
posted by elgilito at 5:34 PM on November 5, 2011

OSS looks good, but it also seems to cover ground that Mike Myers trod in 1999. No?

They're very different in how they approach the parody: the Austin Powers movies are broad, over-the-top caricatures. The OSS movies get laughs from things like Dujardin's crazily-accurate Sean Connery mannerisms, or perfect old-school Bond fight scenes (judo flip! judo chop! weakly thrown vase!), or how dropping a lewd Bond one-liner basically makes you sound like an asshole if the camera doesn't cut away right after you say it.
posted by Amanojaku at 7:55 AM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

I saw The Artist a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it enormously. Dujardin is impressive as is the rest of the cast.
posted by Lezzles at 8:18 AM on November 6, 2011

OSS:Lost in Rio is free streaming if you have Amazon Prime

Awesome, thanks for sharing! Watching it now. This is a riot, very understated, but quite funny so far. :)
posted by the cydonian at 9:37 AM on November 6, 2011

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