Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Charlie Chaplin- Modern Times
I'm one of those people who believe that Charlie Chaplin was a true genius in every aspect of his work...performance, direction, writing, composing, etc. The words "pure" and "universal" are used so often to describe his work that if you are unfamiliar with it, such praise may be hard to take seriously. If you're looking at this I assume you're already a Chaplin fan and know just how great it all really is along with how much of a true artist a poor little clown can be...but if not, go see all of his feature films, as many shorts as you can, read his autobiography and listen to his music...
The first side is predominately pieces to demonstrate the inhuman (mechanical) nature of factory work, a more playful version of the vision in "Metropolis" with all the workers being sacrificed to the machine. Not surprisingly this movie accelerated what would eventually lead to Chaplin being labeled, and scrutinized, as a Communist by the U.S. government and his eventual exile.
Enough of that...this music is great, this movie is great, as are all of Chaplin's movies and music.
Oddly, his "Nonsense Song" (the first time he'd ever spoken in one of his films, 9 years after the advent of Talkies) is not included...it is best to see him performing it, though...along with everything else he ever did.