Three Chaplin silent comedies "A Dog's Life", "Shoulder Arms", and "The Pilgrim" are strung together to form a single feature length film. Chaplin provides new music, narration, and a small... See full summary »
Am a big fan of Charlie Chaplin, have been for over a decade now. Many films and shorts of his are very good to masterpiece, and like many others consider him a comedy genius and one of film's most important and influential directors.
From his post-Essanay period after leaving Keystone, the short films from 1917 that form 'The Charlie Chaplin Festival' ('The Immigrant', 'Easy Street', 'The Cure' and 'The Adventurer) showed a noticeable step up in quality though from his Keystone period, where he was still evolving and in the infancy of his long career, from 1914, The Essanay and Mutual periods were something of Chaplin's adolescence period where his style had been found and starting to settle. Something that can be seen in all four shorts forming 'The Charlie Chaplin Festival', all of which are great and among the best of this year and period.
The stories are more discernible than before and are never dull, though sometimes a bit too busy and manic. Perhaps a bit episodic too.
On the other hand, 'The Charlie Chaplin Festival' looks pretty good, not incredible but it was obvious that Chaplin was taking more time with his work and not churning out countless shorts in the same year of very variable success like he did with Keystone. Appreciate the importance of his Keystone period and there is some good stuff he did there, but the more mature and careful quality seen here and later on is obvious here in 'The Charlie Chaplin Festival' and the four 1917 short films that form it.
While not one of his most hilarious or touching, all four, especially 'The Immigrant', are still very funny with some clever, entertaining and well-timed slapstick and has substance and pathos that generally were not there with Keystone. 'The Charlie Chaplin Festival' moves quickly and there is no dullness in sight.
Chaplin directs more than competently, if not quite cinematic genius standard yet in this 1917 period. He also, as usual, gives amusing and expressive performances and at clear ease with the physicality and substance of the roles. The supporting cast acquit themselves well in all four, Eric Campbell and Edna Purviance especially.
In summary, a great festival. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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