Gail and I have only recently become fans of Chaplin. We're hoping that some of you will educate us with Chaplin lore.
This post is for everyone who asked about the animation between the Chaplin films yesterday. As Francesca said there, the scene that you were watching, if you were watching it, was from a feature length animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, and there are some important things to know about it. It was made in 1926, about a decade before Disney created Snow White, which is often believed to be the first feature length animated film. It was made in Germany by a young woman named Lotte Reiniger. Lotte developed a technique of photographing through various levels of glass, which allowed her to treat the foreground of her animations and the background differently. Disney took this technique, improved on it, and patented it. There's no reason to think that Reiniger profited in any way from the design of her setup. If you'd like to learn something about her life and work--she continued to work into the late 1970s--you can learn a great deal on YouTube.The Google Doodle devoted to her is there; that's a good place to start. Then there is a longer video exploring how the Google Doodle was created, called "Who was Lotte Reiniger, and why is there a Google Doodle about her?" Especially if you have young people in the house these are inspiring things to spend a few minutes with. Then there are lots of her films on YouTube as well; whether they are all free, I'm not sure.
Gail and I enjoyed sharing yesterday's films with you; we hope you enjoyed being there. We encourage you to leave a thought or two about the films or about the series.
Hi Mike & Gail;
I was able to find the blog in spite of Mike's cryptic instructions and lack of a hyper-link with-in the message.
Sorry I missed the Chaplin films. The reason was and is health and age related.
Charles Chaplin is a very complex personality in the early history of film, although many film comedians of the silents are quiet interesting in their early gloy, and then stuggles with chages in film.
Of the silent comedians, the big four for me are Chaplin, WC Fields, Buster Keeton and Harold LLoyd. My favorite is WC, due to his anarchic stance (proto-post-sentimental) but Chaplin was the first world cimema icon. Buster Keeton lived to loath/miss his past successes, and Harold Lloyd was the straight guy getting out of jams, a product of his times and seemed unable to "modernize" well.
tells Chaplin's life quickly, and offers the rationale for his sweet, loving and caring of the underdog, underclass and yes, even the blind. Against the odds and bullies, He was the tramp (read poor) whose heart won over the moment, and in showing that heart trascended sound and place, won over the entire world.
Chaplin worked in sound, but the Tramp was his shining achievement, and a character that made charm and luck (with grace) win over mayhem, which was the force that drove most of the newly developing Hollywood comedy.
Thanks to digital reissue on DVD, and now streaming, all four are availble to enjoy, as well as many silent comedy stars and studios.
I'm featuring these big four (my picks) as I could think of Women Silent Stars more as either Sweethearts or Femme Fatales, since many were.
The silents are (IMHO) a different form of film, as the motion and radience, as well as the specific acting style partially brought from the stage, make for a more demanding and attentive experience. However, at its best, as in two Garbo silent favs of mine - The Temptress, Garbo and Antonio Moreno (1926) and Flesh and the Devil (1927) Garbo and John Gilbert) - it rivals any of the great movies with sound. Watching a serious silent movie can become a mesmerizing, dream-like experience. My dreams are much more like silent movies than "talkies". Intensity and attraction wins over reality. With Garbo and Gilbert, it acutally did.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't note this in addition to classic Pandora's Box... The recent PBS/UK film dramatises Louise Brooks' start as an young American dancer going to New York to study...with a Chaperone. It's a charming and beautiful film recently featured on Masteripiece.