If you are only watching one movie this year, then The Artist (2011) should probably be it.
The story is about silent movie star George Valentin who fails to make the transition from “silents” to “talkies”, and falls into oblivion and despair. However, Peppy Miller, a young starlet, is willing to do whatever it takes to save him. Will she succeed?
The Artist is a black and white silent movie about the film industry in the 1920s. It stars Jean Dujardin as a very convincing Valentin, and Bérénice Bejo as the peppy Peppy (see what they did there?). It is extremely skillfully made and actually won five Oscars, all of them truly deserved. And I know what you’re thinking: Black and white? Silent movie? How dull! But believe me, it is anything but!
So go and see it!
In 1928 Virginia Woolf held a series of lectures on women and fiction. These lectures were published as an essay collection in 1929, entitled A Room of One’s Own. In it Woolf discusses what is meant by women and literature. Is it female characters in books? Is it women writers? Is it books about women? She explores, through various fictional female characters, the advantages and (mainly) disadvantages women have had when it comes to literature, with regard to lack of education, lack of status, lack of right to participate in public life, politics and to travel, but perhaps most importantly: The lack of a room of their own, somewhere to withdraw from daily chores and quietly contemplate their writing.
The essays are beautifully written, clever, interesting and still current today many places in the world.
I truly recommend this to everyone who has an interest in literature and history, or really anyone who simply enjoys reading. Because, let’s face it: Virginia Woolf was effing awesome!