Because it was made in the age that can produce technology of video with sound that can fit in your pocket. Though they weren't the first to try to recapture the silent film era ie. 1976 Silent Movie a parody comedy by Mel Brooks.
Being an old movie buff and a huge Charlie Chaplin fan I found myself curious and almost skeptical about why a silent movie would be essentially re-produced to emote the ghost of movie past. What happened when I went to see it? I laughed out loud, I got teary and short of breath and was flat out charmed. I'm sure that there is a large population of spoiled modern viewers who would liken watching a silent movie to a supreme form of torture. Though I wouldn't be surprised that they find themselves laughing and crying along with the rest of us.
Funny thing is, it didn't really remind me of any old movie, I'd ever seen. It didn't try to copy anything in particular instead it seemed to carry a deeper message behind it than to purely entertain. Being silent in a world filled with sound, it forces us to pay attention and fill in our own blanks. And once I was paying attention, there was a unmistakeable strong, albeit unspoken, dialog about our own constant struggle to make way for new technology. Which in this current age is more relevant than ever.
"The Artist" is now playing at Film Streams through February 9, 2012
NY Times review