Chaplin at The Cinefamily

Charlot September @ Cinefamily!

Attention all LA-based Pictorial readers: The Silent Movie Theatre’s Cinefamily will be featuring a full retrospective of Charlie Chaplin’s complete body of work throughout the whole of September. The festivities kick off tonight with new prints of both City Lights and The Idle Class, with Chaplin’s silent features and shorts being screened every Wednesday and his talkies every Saturday. That means Limelight, Monsieur Verdoux, The Great Dictator, A King in New York–the whole enchilada!

And, in typical Cinefamily fashion, two of these screenings will be part of a Jacques Tati double feature which, personally, I find to be an inspired choice for a double feature. Thursday The Circus will be paired with Tati’s Parade, and Thursday will feature Play Time (Tati’s marvelous farce on modern living) with Modern Times (Chaplin’s timeless satire on modern technology).

If you have never had the pleasure of experiencing Chaplin on the big screen, this is a chance you simply cannot afford to miss. Not sure how else to say it … just GO.

View the full screening schedule here

Favorite Website of the Week: Association Chaplin

Charlie, circa 1920

Handsome devil: Charlie, circa 1920.

The Pictorial’s favorite website this week goes to the beautifully designed Association Chaplin website. Charlie Chaplin’s official website, it has grown over the past few years into an impressive, exhaustive resource for all things Chaplin. Download pictures, buy movies and merchandise, and read fabulous biographies, interviews and essays about cinema’s first pioneer … and one of its only true geniuses. From behind the scenes insights into the City Lights score, to a calendar of Chaplin screenings worldwide, Association Chaplin is the definitive go-to-source for anyone who loves the little tramp.

… And while we’re on the subject, in a disgustingly belated homage to one of my favorite writer/director/actor/composer/humanists of all time (his 120th birthday was last week–and he’s also the subject of our most recent Pictorial), I’m posting this clip from Charlie Chaplin’s first talkie–and his last stint as The Little Tramp. 1940’s The Great Dictator. This quick, 2 minutes of film captures everything I love so dearly about Charlie’s tramp: the dignified scavenger with a bottom line, and dandified manner. Sincere, madcapped, loveable, made up entirely of acute angles and a 24 karat heart of gold.

Chaplin himself may have been, as Marlon Brando put it, a “mixed bag,” but name one human being that isn’t. (Including Mr. Brando.) Whatever his quirks, foibles, faults and inperfections, in my humble opinion, his gift outweighs any of that.

And anyway, always remember, like the man himself said, “a day without laughter is a day wasted.”