Tuesday, July 1, 2008

this was an easy decision...

So If my presentation on The Great Dictator didn't show it off enough, I get a little starry-eyed when it comes to Chaplin. I just love him and I think his movies are both hilarious and moving. Oddly enough I had never seen THE KID before we watched it in class.
The verdict- I thought it was completely incredible, I was totally blown away.
I was in Newbury Comics like two days later with my buddy and the dvd was on sale. I took it the discount to mean that it was fate that I should own the film. I've since watched it about twelve times. I also made my roomate watch it with me and he loved it (which is incredible in itself because he used to fall asleep if we watched anything made before 1973)

Anyway, THE KID was Chaplin's first feature length film and it allowed him to showcase what some critics called "Chaplin's pathos". But there are tons of articles that talk about Chaplin's skilled and innovative mesh of comedy and pathos. This one discusses that and also has an interesting mention of what THE KID does to show off the richness of the tramp character and Chaplin's acting. It's actually pretty interesting.

I think one of the reasons I liked THE KID so much is in the relationship between the kid and the tramp. There are other movies where we see the tramp make sacrifices to take care of others (the blind woman in CITY LIGHTS comes to mind) but the tramp's unwavering devotion to the kid in this film is so much more powerful because these two people mean everything to each other. The father/son dynamic here is totally unusual because of the way that both characters care for each other and depend on each other. There's that moment where they are separated by the city officials - the tramp is heartbroken and the kid is wailing in the back of the orphanage truck - the level of emotion displayed is stunning to watch.

Many of the films that we watched this semester are already on my dvd shelf and some of them are already what I would call my favorites, but THE KID basically just blew me out of the water. I totally fell in love with this movie and I think it's knocked a couple things down the list to become not only my favorite Chaplin movie, but one of my new all-time favorites.

Even this guy who doesn't really like Chaplin liked the film. That's gotta help my cause, right?

Also, here is what I feel to be a necessary side note; while I was looking around and reading up on this movie I realized that Jackie Coogan the kid who played... well, the kid, grew up and became Jack Coogan- the guy who played fester on the Addams Family show. How totally weird is that? I used to watch that show all the time growing up and it took me about five minutes to get my head wrapped around that.
(this is a similar reaction to one i experienced several years ago when I realized that uncle phil from fresh prince did the voice of shredder on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- I know you're probably shocked, but next time your watching fresh prince listen to uncle phil and picture him saying "turtle soup" you'll freak out like i did.)

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