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The Artist - yet-unseen by me but picking up Oscar steam as the winner of the New York Film Critics Circle Awards - is a 2011 movie that does its best to recreate a silent film of the 1920s. Here are (some) more films that tried similar forms of period/style imitation on for size:

Black Dynamite

The so-called "Blaxploitation" genre - a catch-all term for a run of primarily black-cast action/crime films produced mainly in the 1970s - has been mined for nostalgia value before in films like I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, Undercover Brother and Original Gangstas, but this independently-produced passion project for star/co-writer Michael Jai White gets it just about the rightest anyone ever has.

White, one of the most underrated action actors in the business (why didn't he get called for Expendables 2?), has the title role as a CIA agent turned urban vigilante trying to trace the source of a racist poisoning conspiracy. While plenty of earlier attempts at the same idea got the easy stuff right (clothes, music, anachronistic 70s idioms), where Black Dynamite excels is the crucial smaller details. Intentional film flubs, editing mistakes and (best of all) questionable casting - part of the film's meta-joke is that White is actually playing a (fictional) Baltimore Colts all-star running back making his acting-debut as Black Dynamite, so when he breaks character or flubs a line he does so into the fictional non-actor persona. It also helps that the screenplay is genuinely funny, and that White has the presence and martial chops of a legit action star.

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

Outrageously funny in its own right, this loving send-up of 1950s sci fi movies - specifically ultra low-budget shot-in-Bronson-Canyon indie drive-in schlock - gets so much right, it's kind of awe-inspiring. A geologist and his wife get wrapped up in a coincidence-fueled clash between a scheming treasure hunter, a reanimated skeleton, two marooned aliens and their escaped "pet" mutant.

A lot of the humor is a bit specific - you really have to know your 50s crap cinema to appreciate just how spot-on a lot of the little jokes are - but genre fans and Mystery Science Theater 3000 devotees will feel right at home. A cult hit on DVD, it's already spawned a sequel.

A Fistful of Yen (Kentucky Fried Movie)

The Kentucky Fried Movie is one of the funniest sketch-compilation films ever made - Danger Seeker (WARNING! NSFW!) is perhaps the best example ever of how to do politically incorrect racial humor properly - and it features as its showpiece a longform send-up of late-70s kung fu movies (Enter The Dragon specifically) that still holds up after all these years.

Once again, it comes down to the details: Anyone can imitate a kitschy camera zoom or inappropriately loud punching sound-effects, but this is one of the only Bruce Lee pastiches that manages to pin down his actual persona: weirdly-coiled restraint, lisping delivery and all. (Supposedly, the sketch itself was largely inspired by the lead actor's "famous" Lee impression.)

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