Monday, September 06, 2010

A Labour Day at the races

Thanks to my daughter - that is, thanks to my unrelenting efforts to fill my children's heads with the ripest fruits of klassic komedy - Charlie Chaplin has reared his bechapeaued head in my life after a few years' absence. (My son currently prefers Mitchell & Webb, and I went through a period of finding Chaplin too sentimental, especially as compared with Buster Keaton*.)

It being Labour Day, I should probably post something from Modern Times, but I would much rather post this, a short that I still think about every once in a while, and have done so since I first saw it in the Concordia University library AV department nearly two decades ago [pause for stunned silence] while skipping an evening class. The set up and premise is so dead simple - some people just love to get in front of a camera - and he doesn't exactly stretch the idea very far, but I find there is something hypnotically funny about the bit. (It also, I think, anticipates much of the satirical hay made in the past few decades about the lengths ordinary people will go to to get on TV.)

*I still get impatient with some of Chaplin's later reflex sappiness and heart-tugging, but am more willing to see that all as merely the inevitable excesses of genius. Isn't that big of me?

ADDED: And by "sappiness I am impatient with", I don't mean the ending of City Lights, which even a UFC champ would tear up over. That's the good stuff. (Talking to myself, now...)

1 comment:

UpStart Press said...

It's like a primer for The Situation et al!