It seems that a couple of Hollywood types – say a producer and a director – were having their way with a bottle of 24 year-old Bruichladdich one evening. Instead of the inebriated effect that fine Scotch has on its imbibers, it caused these movie moguls to wax whimsical and cynical.
The producer sarcastically asserted that the importance of dialog in movies is totally overblown. As evidence of this, he pointed out the fascination people have with texting, having observed on multiple occasions his daughter and her friends texting each other…while in the same room!
The director said “As preposterous as your point is, we both know the only things that are important in selling a movie today is a frenzied marketing campaign by the movie studio followed by rave reviews by critics desperate to outwit each other by anointing some artsy-fartsy movie as the second coming of Gone With The Wind.”
“That’s brilliant!” the producer blurted out. “We could make a low-budget throwback movie – say, a silent movie – no one has made one since the talkies came out in the late 1920s. The movie will be seen as cool because it’s so countercultural. And the public will play along – they’re so fickle they’ll embrace any new trend.”
“Yes indeed!” countered the director. “We’ll do it in black and white so it has that film noir mystique. We wouldn’t need an expensive screenwriter because any numb-nutz can ‘write’ a script for a silent movie. And we could use unknown actors because if they aren’t speaking, who needs top line stars?”
“Our costs would be practically nothing,” the producer mused, sounding very much like an accountant.
He continued to brainstorm: “It will all be an elaborate hoax on the international movie-going public to prove how easy it is to program humans into believing what one wants them to believe. It’s done every day in politics. Why not movies? Between the two of us, we have enough top drawer movie critics in our back pockets that we can coax them to play along with this farce and write enthusiastic reviews.”
“It’s diabolical,” giggled the director. “Kind of like a Jackson Pollock painting. If a mentally disturbed artist can make millions by throwing containers of paint on a white canvas, think what we can do with a movie.”
“You know, this has been done before,” the producer recalled. “Orson Welles in 1938 terrified millions of gullible radio listeners by creating a fake news broadcast about an invasion from Mars. For a few hours, people were stuck in a kind of virtual world in which fiction was confused for fact.”
“We’ll need a catchy name for the movie,” said the director.
The producer had it ready. “We’ll call it…The Artist.”