The Artist mimics the look and feel of a late 1920s silent film. The sets, the costumes, the makeup, the lighting, the camera work, the acting—even the way it’s written—makes you almost believe you are watching a classic of the silent era. Of course, you know it’s not. After all, there are recognizable modern actors in it, like John Goodman and James Cromwell. And, for me, there was the type.
Cinéphiles will probably chuckle at the idea that The Artist nailed the silent film era, but this article takes the film to task like nothing else I’ve read. Simonson exhaustively picks apart the use (and misuse) of type in the film.
Actually, his main gripe is that type was used at all; hand lettering would have been more common.