Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chaplin Festival coming to the Castro

In September, the Castro Theater will play host to a traveling series of films – a greatest hits, if you will, of the greatest of comedic actors, Charlie Chaplin.

Once dubbed “the most famous man in the world,” Chaplin has long been recognized as the preeminent icon of world cinema. From 1914 until 1967, Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, and starred in over 80 films, quickly advancing from slapstick to a unique comic style - immaculately constructed, deeply human, and always funny.

In cooperation with MK2 and the Chaplin estate, Janus Films is presenting a touring retrospective of Chaplin's best films. The schedule includes

Saturday, Sept.18, 2010 - The Circus (1928, 72 min.), The Idle Class (1921, 32 min.), and A Day’s Pleasure (1919, 19 min.), with an introduction by Glen David Gold, author of the bestselling Chaplin inspired novel Sunnyside.

Sunday, Sept.19, 2010 – City Lights (1931, 87 min.), A Dog’s Life (1918, 33 min.), and Sunnyside (1919, 30 min.)

Monday, Sept.20, 2010 - Modern Times (1936, 87 min.) and Pay Day ( 1922, 22 min.)

Tuesday, Sept.21, 2010 – The Great Dictator (1940, 124 min.) and The Kid (1921, 54 min.)

Wednesday, Sept.22, 2010 – Limelight (1952, 137 min.) and Shoulder Arms (1918, 37 min.)

And in October, Flicker Alley will release Chaplin at Keystone, a four disc, 34 film set of the comedian’s early work. The set features the UCLA Film and Television Archive restoration of Tillie's Punctured Romance, all-new musical settings by outstanding practitioners of silent film accompaniment, as well as several  special features including a short excerpt from A Thief Catcher (the recently-discovered film with Chaplin as a Keystone Cop), Inside the Keystone Project, a short documentary detailing the international restoration efforts behind this much anticipated release, and Silent Traces - The Keystone Film Locations, in which Bay Area film historian John Bengtson takes a "then and now" look at several Keystone film locations in a 10 minute filmed tour based on his book Silent Traces.

More about this upcoming release at a later date.

If one doubts that Chaplin, a comedic actor born in the slums of London, had as big an impact as he did on the 20th century – then consider this simple fact. Here in San Francisco, not one, not two, but three bookstores were named after his films. They are City Lights, Modern Times, and the former Limelight Books.

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