October 30 - December 5, 2010
All New 35mm Prints!
Chaplin Festival passes, which include admission to 11 screenings and a special 18” x 24” limited edition screenprint poster by Sam’s Myth, are available for $55 each or $49.50 for Belcourt members. Individual film tickets are also available.
THE CIRCUS w/ Sunnyside Sat-Sun, Oct 30-31
Sat-Sun, 10/30-31 @ 12:10, 2:30, 6:40, 8:55
When we first meet Chaplin’s Tramp in THE CIRCUS, he’s in typical straits: broke, hungry, destined to fall in love and just as sure to lose the girl. Mistaken for a pickpocket and pursued by a peace officer into a circus tent, the Tramp becomes a star when delighted patrons think his escape from John Law is an act. At the first-ever Academy Awards® ceremony, Charles Chaplin was honored with a special statuette “for versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing and producing THE CIRCUS.” And, it went without saying, for again bringing laughter to packed movie palaces across America. (1928, 72min)
“One of the loveliest screen experiences! Perhaps the quintessential Chaplin film!” - Vincent Canby, NY Times
Preceded by the short film SUNNYSIDE (1919, 30min) - Charlie is a farm laborer who’ll try anything to win over his pretty neighbor, but ends up spending a lot of time in dreamland.
THE GOLD RUSH Fri-Sun, Nov 5-7
Fri, 11/5 @ 6:00, 9:30
Sat, 11/6 @ 1:40
Sun, 11/7 @ 2:50
In search of gold in turn-of-the-century Alaska, Charlie takes refuge with fellow prospector Mack Swain in an isolated, comically-imbalanced cabin, where hunger forces him to eat that famous shoe. The masterpiece that features more great Chaplin moments than any other: the dance of the rolls, the cabin tottering over the cliff, the giant chicken, etc. etc. This version features Chaplin’s own music and poetic narration, added for his 1942 reissue. (1925/1942, 72min)
“The Gold Rush has been delighting audiences for almost 80 years -- it's one of the flat-out funniest films made in the silent era or any other.” - Hollywood Reporter
CITY LIGHTS Fri-Sat, Nov 5-6
Fri, 11/5 @ 4:00, 7:40
Sat, 11/6 @ 11:50, 3:10
CITY LIGHTS begins with an uproarious skewering of pomp and formality, ends with one of the most famous last shots in movie history and, from start to finish, talkies were well entrenched when Charles Chaplin swam against the filmmaking tide with this classic that is silent except for music and sound effects. The story, involving the Tramp’s attempts to get money for an operation that will restore sight to a blind flower girl, provides the star with an ideal framework for sentiment and laughs. The Tramp is variously a street sweeper, a boxer, a rich poseur, and a rescuer of a suicidal millionaire. His message is unspoken, but universally understood: love is blind. (1931, 87min)
LIMELIGHT Fri-Sun, Nov 12-14
Fri, Nov 12 @ 4:50, 9:20
Sat, Nov 13 @ 1:10, 6:30
Sun, Nov 14 @ 12:40
Chaplin’s Limelight is a glimmering homage to what was, a proud look at a bygone entertainment era and a bittersweet tale of an artist passing the torch to a new generation. Chaplin portrays Calvero (the “Tramp Comedian” per an old theatrical poster in his room), who rescues a distraught ballerina (Claire Bloom) from suicide and mentors her to success. Among the film’s comedy highlights is a musical routine that’s anything but routine in the hands of legends Chaplin and stone-faced Buster Keaton. The extraordinary score by Chaplin, Raymond Rasch and Larry Russell earned the screen legend his only competitive Oscar®.(1952, 137min)
MODERN TIMES Fri-Sun, Nov 12-14
Fri, Nov 12 @ 2:50, 7:30
Sat, Nov 13 @ 3:50, 9:20
The Little Tramp punches in and wigs out inside a factory where gizmos like an employee-feeding machine may someday make the lunch hour last just 15 minutes. Bounced into the ranks of the unemployed, he teams with a street waif (Paulette Goddard) to pursue bliss and a paycheck, finding misadventures as a roller-skating night watchman, a singing waiter whose hilarious song is gibberish, a jailbird and more. In the end, as Tramp and waif walk arm and arm into an insecure future, we know they’ve found neither bliss nor a paycheck but, more importantly, each other. (1936, 87min)
THE KID w/ Idle Class Mon-Tue, Nov 15-16
Mon, Nov 15 @ 3:00, 7:00**
Tue, Nov 16 @ 4:00, 8:30
**Special Wine Food and Film Night!!
One heaves rocks through windows. The other happens by in the nick of time to offer his services as an expert window repairman. It’s a system that works. So does everything else about this beloved Chaplin classic THE KID whose blend of laughs and pathos changed the notion of what a screen comedy could be.For the first time as a filmmaker, Chaplin stepped into feature-length storytelling with this tale of the down-but-never-out Tramp (Chaplin) and the adorable ragamuffin (6-year-old Jackie Coogan) who, rescued as a foundling and raised in the School of Hard Knocks by the Tramp, is his inseparable sidekick. (1921, 54min)
Preceded by THE IDLE CLASS (1921, 32min) - Charlie is the spitting image of a rich woman’s drunk husband. At a masked ball, her inability to distinguish one from the other leads to much confusion.
A KING IN NEW YORK Sat, Nov 20 and Mon, Nov 22
Sat, Nov 20 @ 12:30pm
Mon, Nov 22 @ 7:00
Forced out of the U.S. in 1952, Chaplin lashed back with this scathing satire of everything American – from McCarthyist witch hunts to CinemaScope and rock’n'roll – as he plays his last full role, a deposed and impoverished monarch seeking refuge in Manhattan, though the film was shot in England. (1958, 110min)
"Hugely funny, healthily vulgar." - NY Times.
MONSIEUR VERDOUX Sun-Mon, Nov 21-22
Sun, Nov 21 @ 12:30pm
Mon, Nov 22 @ 4:35, 9:15
Now widely considered one of his best works, and his most political, Chaplin immodestly proclaimed it “the cleverest, most brilliant film of my career”. Based on an idea by Orson Welles, which Chaplin reportedly bought for five thousand dollars in a refusal to be directed by anyone but himself, VERDOUX stars Chaplin as the moustachioed bluebeard in beret and cravat whose charming manners and good looks cloak a deep-seated, murderous hatred, festering since the loss of his longstanding job as a bank clerk. Plagued with censorship problems early on, and temporarily pulled from distribution in the US at the height of the Cold War Hollywood witch-hunts, it was initially vilified for its risqué societal critique. (1947, 125min)
“A mordant satire that exemplifies the fine line between comedy and tragedy, Verdoux transcends the borders of genre, and deserves to be seen multiple times” (Dave Kehr).
A WOMAN OF PARIS w/ Pay Day Sat and Mon, Nov 27, 29
Sat, Nov 27 @ 12:15
Mon, Nov 29 @ 7:00
“The first serious drama written and directed by myself,” goes the opening title. For his première United Artists release, Chaplin chose a sophisticated drama sans himself (apart from a heavily-disguised cameo), with frequent leading lady Edna Purviance as the eponymous femme kept by rich philanderer Adolphe Menjou.(1923, 82min)
Preceded by PAY DAY (1922, 22min) - Charlie is a bricklayer who sets off to celebrate pay day with his pals. But his wife is waiting with the rolling pin.
CHAPLIN SHORTS Sun, Nov 28 and Tue, Nov 30
Sun, Nov 28 @ 12:15
Tue, Nov 30 @ 7:00
This tryptich of early Chaplin shorts starts with his first, A DOG'S LIFE (1918, 33min). Thanks to a dog he finds, Charlie ends up in possession of some stolen loot but the wrongdoers want their ill-gotten gains back. In SHOULDER ARMS (1918, 37min), Charlie discovers the hard life of the trenches and the dangers of of the First World War. Finally, having escaped from prison in THE PILGRIM (1923, 41min), Charlie disguises himself as a pastor but is mistaken for a village's new curate.
THE GREAT DICTATOR w/ A Day’s Pleasure Fri-Sun, Dec 3-5
Fri, Dec 3 @ 7:00
Sat, Dec 4 @ 12:30
The U.S. was not yet in World War II when Chaplin leveled his comedy arsenal at Der Führer by playing the dual roles of Hitler-like Adenoid Hynkel and a Jewish barber who is a dead-ringer for der Nutsie. Puns, sight gags and slapstick abound as Chaplin skewers fascism, balancing his attack with poignant scenes of a ghetto in the clutches of storm-trooping terror. (1940, 124min)
Preceded by A DAY'S PLEASURE (1919, 19min) - Charlie decides to take his wife and children on a boat trip, but the family car proves somewhat recalcitrant.
Synopses provided by MK2, Warner Bros and Janus Films
The Belcourt wishes to thank Sarah Finklea and Brian Belovarac (Janus Films) as well as Jake Perlin (The Film Desk) for their assistance in facilitating this retrospective.
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