Study Guide

The Artist Versions of Reality

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Versions of Reality

Because The Artist is a movie about movies, it portrays many different worlds—both fantasy and real-ish.

After all, movies themselves are reconstructed to resemble reality. Take the Kinograph film set: one day it's dressed to look like California under mid-1800s Mexican rule, featuring Valentin as the swashbuckling Zorro, and the next it's home to zillions of plumed chorus girls. The ability to enter and exit these worlds with ease is the dream of actors like Peppy and George.

But the film also shows us other versions of reality—those tied to madness and delusion, substance abuse and depression.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Is Peppy's pursuit of fame an example of the American Dream? How so?
  2. George experiences several different versions of reality in the film. Some of them are like nightmares. How might these versions of reality represent his fears and anxieties?
  3. Does Hollywood sell/represent an unrealistic version of reality in The Artist?
  4. How does the film set act as a version of reality for the actor-characters in The Artist?

Chew on This

Fantasy is a means of escape from reality for the characters in The Artist.

Imagining different versions of reality allows us to imagine and pursue a different future.

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