The Artists Before “The Artist”

Eye two films from the team behind this year's Best Picture winner.

Hollywood, bless its heart, has now, and always has had, a serious case of overnight success envy.

People seemingly come out of nowhere to grace our big and small screens, and questioning types -- "questioning" here may or may not be a stand-in for "jealous" -- sometimes pause to say "where in all get-out did that person come from?"

It's a charming but misleading question, because, of course, people work for years to be that overnight Hollywood success. Take the team behind this year's Best Picture winner. Director Michael Hazanavicius and actors Bérénice Béjo and Jean Dujardin have been making films in France for years now; "The Artist" is in now way their first foray into sparkly film comedy.

Which means that fans of "The Artist" are looking for those earlier films. And here they are: New Beverly Cinema is screening a pair of HazaNavicius-Béjo-Dujardin works through Sunday, March 4. (We'll add that Mme. Béjo is not listed on the second film, note.)

"OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies" and "OSS 117: Lost in Rio" are a pair of international capers with all the comic flair the group brought to the silent sensation. Though, please note: Both of the "OSS" films are, in fact, talkies. Nor do they, as far as we know, feature the four-footed, bow-tied Uggie.

A ticket for the double feature is eight dollars.

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