Archive for April 15, 2011

The Complete History of Kinema #2

Posted in FILM with tags , , on April 15, 2011 by dcairns

The Coming of Sound.

Of course, what’s worth remembering is that Chaplin embraced sound quite willingly — it was dialogue he resented. Having demonstrated that movies could quite happily combine expressive sound effects and music with pantomime, he finally bit the bullet and produced talkies with visual “islands”. Billy Wilder’s melancholy pronouncement “When he learned to talk, he was like a child of five composing lyrics to Beethoven’s Ninth” strikes me as unfair — THE GREAT DICTATOR, MONSIEUR VERDOUX and LIMELIGHT strike me as great films, and if they’re uneven, that unevenness isn’t necessarily the fault of the dialogue — the Adenoid Hynkel scenes in TGD are the comic highlights, and many of them intersperse crisp one-liners amid the slapstick.

This has been part two of my ongoing Complete History of matters kinematic. A couple more installments should do it, I think. (Have I missed anything?)

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