Los Angeles -- There was a time when innocence in American Cinema was defined by several icons of comedy reaching the masses through the medium of film. Among the masters of laughter that survive today in the format of digital nickelodeons from the silent era are: Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Ben Turpin, Max Linder, Karl Dane, and the towering icon of the age of visual humor and drama Charles Spencer Chaplin or better known by the stage name of Charlie Chaplin.
Now this is where we could stop and just go to a plethora of videos on this man whose entire life was a reflection of the movies he appeared in and made. Yet it wouldn't do us justice to simply glaze over his body of work that spanned a lifetime, now wouldn't it?
On the other hand to exercise the option of analyzing the minutiae of his work and dissect the consequential impact it continues to have today on the filmed arts medium would take up probably a lifetime along with several inconsequential volumes in print and digital format that will rarely be seen nor used unless you are a scholar of the cinematic arts and are either a tenured professor or a film buff. Neither of which we are nor make any pretense to be.
Instead we are presenting a descriptive narrative of his passion, his tender love and hope, that is his hopefulness. Chaplin was born in complete abject poverty. The fact that he secured passage to the United States and in a relatively short period of time emerged as a box office cash cow is not only legendary but miraculous.
A testament to his artistic genius and uncanny comedic timing.
Yet when viewing excerpts from some of his 80 films you tend to see the miracles of his success imprinted in the light comedic interplay and dramatic sentiment. Almost a longing for a better life and time and yet making the most of what you have. A sense of gratitude and mischievous ambition with an incessant stubbornness to upend the status quo without being caught.
Maybe it was that stalwart defiance that got Charlie kicked out of the United States. For you see he never became a U.S. Citizen but remained a Citizen of Great Britain, his place of birth. J. Edgar Hoover, the godfather of the FBI and law enforcement at the time had him on his watch list for suspected communist sympathies, which were never clearly or proven other than his sympathies toward Joseph Stalin and his purges to build a working class paradise and superpower with would rival the Western Capitalist Imperial powers of that day, but good enough for the anti-communist patriotic crusader to drum him out of the United States.
The cold war was in full swing.
So we take a look not at Comrade Chaplin but Maestro Chaplin whose multi talented career of Actor, Producer, Writer, Composer, and I would not be surprised Editor of some of the silent and sound era classics which are a prime example of visual communication through the artistry of story telling, of which he truly was the master, the King of Dramedy.
To experience Chaplin is to experience his life. The roots of his dramatic comedies and the cause ce'le'bre of his exile and controversy.
Let's take a look shall we?
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