Study Guide

The Artist Scene 1

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Scene 1

Scene 1

  • The year is 1927.
  • Close-up on the contorted face of a man who's being electrocuted by some kind of ancient medical device that shoots lightning bolts through your ears. Egads!
  • The music is foreboding. The man's mouth is moving but his screams are inaudible.
  • The intertitle speaks for him: "I won't talk!" it reads. "I won't say a word!!!"
  • Cut to: the men who are torturing him from behind a pane of glass, begging him to "speak!"
  • Suddenly the camera pans out to show that the whole scene is actually playing on a movie screen, at a theater — the old kind with a classy crowd dressed to the nines and an orchestra in front, performing the film score.
  • The crowd reacts boisterously (gasping, laughing) as the man on screen reunites with his dog, dons a mask, flashes a hundred-watt smile, retrieves the damsel in distress (decked out in furs, what else?) from the vault where she has been stashed, and makes a grand escape.

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