Saturday, 23rd Sept 2023 — Cinema Paradiso: Chaplin’s Modern Times:
3.30pm for a 3.45pm start, concluding at 5.40pm. RSVP: contact Brett by Sunday, 17 September 2023
Modern Times (1936) — As the role of AI is debated in society today, a screening of Chaplin’s last performance of the Little Tramp character, struggling to survive in a modern, industrialised world.
According to Wikipedia, Chaplin commenced work on the film after a conversation with Mahatma Gandhi about modern technology. He did not understand why Gandhi generally opposed it, though he granted that “machinery with only consideration of profit” had put people out of work and ruined lives.
Part-talkie, the film is a satirical, hilarious and romantic comedy (Chaplin’s romance theme was later given lyrics and became the song Smile, first recorded by Nat King Cole). It is the first film to feature Chaplin’s voice in The Nonsense Song.
The film uses silence and physical jokes (Chaplin performed all of his own stunts) to depict the dehumanising effects of industrialisation and automation, exploring themes of humanity versus machine, the powerlessness of the poor, and the connections between unemployment, poverty and crime.