I think it is not necessary to introduce you Charlie Chaplin or Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin. You all know that he was the most famous character of the silent movie era (was born in 1889 in England) and an iconic figure with incredible influence on making motion pictures in the 19th century working actively more than 75 years in the cinema industry. Actor, director, producer, who invented his own unique persona on the movie screens: the ‘Little Tramp’ first introduced in 1915. Altough the appearing of the talkies (sound cinema) made the ‘Little Tramp’ disappearing from the screens, it became an icon in world cinema. During the 1930s he refused to create sound films as he believed so much in the power and artistic value of the non-verbal assets on the screens.
Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in, and composed the music for most of his films. He was a perfectionist. He made 82 films. By 1918 his movies made him the most recognised man in the world. His movies had social and political themes and messages despite of entertainment – political mainly from the 1930s. And he put his perspective on screen about capitalism, militaristic nationalism in his famous movie ‘The Great Dictator’ in 1940, where he had the courage to directly satirise Hitler and fascism with using dialogues finally instead of silent way of expressions.
He grew up in poverty and hardship. His father left them when he was born, he was separated from his mother at the age of 6 and he started to work from the age of 9. And he was on stage from an early age.
“I was hardly aware of a crisis because we lived in a continual crisis; and, being a boy, I dismissed our troubles with gracious forgetfulness.” /Charlie Chaplin about his childhood/
He had 4 wifes and 8 children. His relationship with much younger women created many scandals around him. Eventually he confessed to having had sexual relations with more than 2,000 women.
“I am not exactly in love with her, but she is entirely in love with me.” – Chaplin’s discription about ideal woman in 1926.
“He was short and his head was a little too large for his delicate body. But Chaplin was considered by most to be good-looking…” /dailymail.co.uk/
In the 1940s his popularity declined rapidly both because of personal life scandals and his political opinions. He was accused of communist sympathies and an FBI investigation was opened, and Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland, where he died at the age of 88 in 1977.
In 1972 he was offered an Honorary Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. After initially hesitant, he returned to America after twenty years for the award. He received 12 minute standing ovation. In 1975 Chaplin was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.
And what ONO has on screen tonight – 16th August – from this great icon:
The Kid (1921) – silent comedy-drama
It was the first feature-length movie of Charlie Chaplin and considered as one of the greatest films of the silent movie era. And yes, it combines comedy and drama as Chaplin said: “I believe in the power of laughter and tears as an antidote to hatred and terror”. Many people say it is the most perfect and most personal film of him reflecting on his own childhood traumas and memories.
The Gold Rush (1925) – silent comedy
It was released on 26th June in 1925 in Hollywood’s newest theater at the time and the Los Angeles Evening Herald reported the following about the premiere: “A Chaplin premiere is always an outstanding event… There was not a vacant seat at the opening…” In this movie he created a comedy about a tragic event as he always said: “Tragedy and ridicule are never far apart.” The movie has the memorable famous scene when Charlie Chaplin – The Tramp – cooks and eats his boots.
The Circus (1928) – silent comedy
In the story of this film a circus hires Chaplin’s Little Tramp as a clown, but discovers that he can only be funny unintentionally, not on purpose. The Circus was the seventh highest grossing silent film in cinema history taking in more than $3.8 million in 1928. The Circus had the premiere in New York City on the 6th January 1928 and it came out just few month later than the first sound film, The Jazz Singer.
So join us on tonight in Rhodes town in ONO bar on our Charlie Chaplin night! There will be jazz, there will be popcorn, there will be beer offers, and free entrance!
We are waiting for you!
the ONO bar – Rhodes, Greece
28 October street & Amarantou corner