Tuesday, March 22, 2016

“Modern Times” with Charlie Chaplin at the Edge in Bigfork

The 1936 Charlie Chaplin film, “Modern Times” is often referred to as Chaplin’s greatest movie. It blames the problems of its time, specifically the depression, on the modernization of society and screws the dehumanizing effects of technology with hilarious comedy.  This is a “laugh out loud” sort of movie that will give you a chance to look at what Chaplin thought of the problem that is still an important political issue in 2016.  “Modern Times” will be shown by Jack Nachbar at The Edge Center in Bigfork on April 14th at 6:30PM free of charge. The movie will be accompanied by Jack’s presentation providing a better understanding of the film at the time period of the picture.

This film has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating and remains one of Chapin’s most beloved classics. It was supposed to be Chaplin’s first talking movie. By1936, the movie industry had long passed silent movie era. But Chaplin worried that some of the charm and mystique of his beloved character, the “Little Tramp,” would be lost by sound. That seems strange today, but we live in a world totally overwhelmed by sound entertainment. So maybe a trip back to Chaplin’s world might be a good exercise for our “Modern Times.”

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin KBE  (1889 – 1977) is often referred to as one of the most influential figures in the film industry. Chaplin’s 75 year history with the movie industry served both well. He had Movies in the late Victorian Era well into the 1970s.  

It amazing that this creation is so often singled out as his “best”. Sculptures from around the world shown above.  He started life in poverty and ended it in luxury and all of it done with his own hard work. Charlie received an honorary Academy Award “…for his incalculable contribution to the industry,” and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Paulette Goddard (1910 –1990) started out as a child fashion model, and performed in several Broadway plays as a Ziegfeld Girl. Paulette became a Paramount Studio star in the 1940s with a wide array of movies to her credit, but, again, the movie “Modern Times” tops the list of her most famous movies. And it was her first major role in movies.

The critics of the 1930s were very positive with the likes of Frank Nugent of The New York Times  writing…”'Modern Times' has still the same old Charlie, the lovable little fellow whose hands and feet and prankish eyebrows can beat an irresistible tattoo upon an audience's funny bone or hold it still, taut beneath the spell of human tragedy ...”

Also said of “Modern Times”: ”Time has not changed his genius. Variety called it "grand fun and sound entertainment."[7] Film Daily wrote, "Charlie Chaplin has scored on of his greatest triumphs. John Mosher of The New Yorker wrote that Chaplin ‘manufactures some superb laughs ...’  And finally Burns Mantle called the film "another hilariously rowdy success….”

Modern Times was deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress in 1989, and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Fourteen years later, it was screened "out of competition" at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

For such a famous movie to have little or no negative press is a great testament to the movie and a good reason to come and see it on the Big Screen at the Edge Center in Bigfork. You can see this movie free of charge.  Some appropriate snacks will be served courtesy ofJack and his wife/projectionist, Lynn.  Place: The Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork. Date and time: Thursday April 14th at 6:30PM. It will be worth going out on a chilly Spring evening to a nice warm theater.

1 comment:

  1. As a long-time Chaplin fan, I'm heading north tonight!