[VIDEO REVIEW]This silent classic still with the times

Home > Culture > Features

print dictionary print

[VIDEO REVIEW]This silent classic still with the times

Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) was one of the world's greatest filmmakers. He started his life on stage at 5 in London, then went to the United States to make movies in 1912. Since then, after several ups and downs, Chaplin cemented his career as a guru of comic films spiced with social consciousness. Chaplin's 1940 political satire of Adolph Hitler, "The Great Dictator," was not so well-received at the time, but that does not mean it was forgettable. In fact, "The Great Dictator" was recently digitally restored and is to be re-released in Paris on Wednesday, to mark the 62d anniversary of its original release. Seoul's Cine Cube is tentatively scheduled to begin showing "The Great Dictator" on Nov 1. In the meantime, you watch on video the last silent film Chaplin made, "Modern Times" (1936).

"Modern Times" (1936)

Directed, written, produced by and starring Chaplin.

Chaplin's meditation on the humble individual wrestling against the inhumanity of society shines throughout the 89-minute running time.

Chaplin stars as a factory worker who does nothing but tighten screws all day long. All too devoted to his uncomplicated work, Charlie starts to develop a compulsion to tighten everything he sees -- including the buttons on a lady's blouse. His excessive dedication drives him out of his job and into a lunatic asylum.

Eventually he gets out and soon wanders into a demonstration. Clueless, Chaplin is arrested by the riot police and spends years in prison. After getting released, he happens to help a poor young woman on the run for stealing some bread. Charlie tries to be responsible, working in a department store and at an ironworks, but none of these jobs work out. Chaplin and the woman end up tramps on the street, but they remain hopeful.

Chaplin was a genius at provoking laughs at first, but soon after tears and thoughts as well. "Modern Times" is one his best films at doing this.

by Chun Su-jin

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now