9pm Showing: The Kid/Gold Rush

September 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Genius is a word that gets thrown around far too often, I myself am a serial misuser of the word. And the more you use a word, the more its true meaning is forgotten. Therefore, the word genius should be reserved only  for when used to describe Charlie Chaplin.

Never has one man reached so many people with his comedy, undoubtedly the most famous icon in cinema history. Charlie Chaplin was the people’s comic, a tale of rags to supreme wealth and he deserved every penny and every ounce of acclaim. Chaplin’s original blend of slapstick, mime and political and social satire was years ahead of its time and his dominace of the silent film era made him the most famous man in the world.

Chaplin’s anti-establishment comedy appealed most to the poor and deprived, who found great joy and comfort in Chaplin’s antics that continually poked fun and stuck two fingers up at authority, wether it be kicking over an immigration office in The Immigrant or pulling pranks on a policeman in The Kid. Chaplin’s films were a great form of escapism for the poor audience who for an hour or so at the cinema had something to feel happy about, something to look forward to.

Each of Chaplin’s films are sincerely remarkable, the right mix of laughter and sadness, laugh out loud hysterical one moment, then heart breaking the next, poignantly and beautifully directed with Chaplin’s trademark clownish sense of humour.  Charlie Chaplin wasn’t just the greatest man in cinema, but also the most hardworking. His work got in the way of  at least one of his marriages, he was not just an actor, he produced, directed and composed the music for every one of his motion pictures. Each frame on each reel, was meticulously hand-crafted by Chaplin himself.

He was the charming, loveable rogue who stole the hearts of millions. It’s testimony enough that today, nearly a century since The Tramp was first seen on celluloid, we are still watching his films. George Bernard Shaw called Charlie Chaplin ‘the only genius to ever come out of movie industry’ and he couldn’t be more right. There will never be another Charlie Chaplin, no one will ever come even close to his talent, his vision, his ability, his genius. Charlie Chaplin is the greatest actor and film maker of all time. I will continue to watch and cherish his films with a smile on my face and laughter in my heart until it doesn’t beat anymore. Chaplin said he would want to be remembered  most for his film Gold Rush. His big, beautiful eyes that told a thousand stories matched with a vacant expression that brought you to tears. As he does the dance with the bread rolls. Absolute genius.

Image Courtesy of westerndcc.org

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