Study Guide

The Artist Change

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There's a scene in The Artist where George, who's just been fired and is heading down the stairs at Kinograph, meets Peppy, who's just been hired and is going up the stairs. It might seem gimmicky, but the visual composition is a beautiful example of how the change George rails against is inevitable. There will always be someone else coming up the stairs.

Living in a time partitioned out by pretty huge things like the invention of film and the stock market crash, it's understandable that the characters in The Artist will experience change. For some, those changes are thrilling, and for others, paralyzing.

Questions About Change

  1. How does Peppy and George's age gap affect their relationship?
  2. What are some of the differences between the on-set experience at the start of the film and the final scene of the film, when Peppy and George are filming their duet?
  3. What do the changes in Peppy's wardrobe throughout the film tell us about her character? Who decides on the arts and entertainment of the future—the artists or the fans (public)?

Chew on This

George's resistance to change is not inherently bad.

Fear of change in the movie is actually fear of loss.

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