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Key scenes: 'Moneyball,' 'The Descendants,' 'Coriolanus,' 'The Ides of March,' 'The Artist'

December 15, 2011

"One option I had was telling the story of a silent movie actor who stayed silent while the rest of the world starts talking. I thought it was funny but I also thought that it would be disappointing to start as a silent movie and then turn it into a normal, talking movie.

"But I kept the idea for this one particular scene. It's shocking, just the sound of the glass, because normally it's not something you notice in a movie. Then this: We know 'The Artist' is silent, which is a big difference from the old movies, which did not have the option of sound. We're playing a game with the audience. Silence and sound is a theme, and this sequence highlights that narrative line. I actually use sound in a silent movie. It's a bit transgressive, a way to note that I'm free to do what I want.

"And from a narrative point of view, it's the character's hunch that he's out of the game. I thought about putting this sequence at the end, but it's better and more surprising as a premonition. He's beginning to understand his world is about to dramatically change."

Glenn Whipp

calendar@latimes.com

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