A Schedule for Chaplin

Since this year is the 100th anniversary of THE KID, maybe I could accelerate my writing on Chaplin enough to get around to writing about that one before the year’s out? Admittedly, THE KID premiered in February 1921 so I’m too late for the actual, to-the-day centennial, but if I get my skates on I could celebrate the centenary of PAY DAY in Sepember. Not sure anybody sees that as a major event, but it was technically Chaplin’s last short so it has some significance.

Certainly the idea of following Chaplin’s own sched seems foolish — it would mean slowing down to one piece a year, then gaps of years between pieces. And the only real reason to watch all his films in order is to get a sense of CC’s development as filmmaker and clown, which would tend to be dissipated if I leave seven years between THE GREAT DICTATOR and MONSIEUR VERDOUX, or ten years between A KING IN NEW YORK and A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG. Longterm projects are reassuring in these uncertain times, but there are limits.

If I do one Chaplin a week I’ll hit THE KID in October. To hit PAY DAY in September I’ll need to go faster. So maybe we should have a Chaplin Week somewhere in there, probably during the Mutual period? (I have half the Essanay films to do, then all the Mutuals, then five First Nationals before it’s Jackie Coogan Time)…

4 Responses to “A Schedule for Chaplin”

  1. bensondonald Says:

    A Robert Youngson compilation began with little kids coming out of a pre-WWI nickelodeon, while the narrator somberly intoned they would now be IN THEIR FIFTIES! I immediately calculated that anyone who was little kid when the Youngson films appeared — including me — would be a bit older than that.

    When I was a tad Chaplin and Lloyd were personally overseeing re-releases of the films they owned. Saturday matinees were showing brand new Three Stooges theatrical shorts, with Shemp. In college I attended silent screenings where the organist had in fact accompanied films during the silent era.

    I’ve already witnessed 50th anniversary hype for stuff I regard as reasonably contemporary. Looking with very mixed feelings to centenaries of stuff with fewer and fewer degrees of separation from my personal time line.

  2. The passing of Norman Lloyd – who played tennis with Chaplin! — reminds me of how close it all is, really.

  3. David, please don’t wait to do ANY of this! I look forward to every Chaplin piece!

  4. Thanks! I better get watching A Woman then…

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