Yet his downfall is just around the corner, although nobody realizes it in the roaring Hollywood of 1927. When he refuses to do "talkies" dismissing movies with words as a gimmick, his fate is sealed. As his star wanes that of Peppy Miller, his one time lover and movie extra, rises inexorably.
I thought of The Artist when I read Jennifer Fabulous' blog Is blogging dead? When we got into blogging a few years ago it was edgy, avant-garde, even. Now, it seems, every man, dog, cat and cat's half strangled mouse has a blog and nobody is excited about it anymore. Like everybody else's my blog's visits seems to have been cut in half. The stats look like a cardiograph of someone with a terminal disease. Sometimes it feels like being in the market square trying to flog a Betamax player.
In some ways this is sad. While the pressure to blog can produce some tripe, occasionally I stumble on some truly moving blogs out there such as Kittie Moore's blog about her father.
But sadly some other good bloggers seem to have tuned out and moved on.
Can the future really be no more expansive than a tweet or a status update, or will it move on to something different altogether, leaving us slapping around our blogs like Monty Python's dead parrot? At this rate it's going to feel like being back in the world of newspapers again.
In England in the 1830s desperate agricultural workers in the South of England went around rioting and smashing up the threshing machines that were killing their livelihoods, enlisting a menacing, but fictitious figure called Captain Swing to write threatening letters.
"Sir, Your name is down amongst the Black hearts in the Black Book and this is to advise you and the like of you, who are Parson Justasses, to make your wills. Ye have been the Blackguard Enemies of the People on all occasions, Ye have not yet done as ye ought,.... Swing.
The Swing Riots failed to stop progress.
In the 1980s and 1990s I saw those old characters with the ink stained hands walk out of print factories for the last time and into oblivion. Who knows where they went and what they did? As the Wapping riots can testify, they didn't always go without a fight. But go they did.
Makes you wonder about Blogger doesn't it?