Thursday, July 07, 2005

Making a Living

US 1914. PC: Keystone. D: Henry Lehrman. Starring: Henry Lehrman (the reporter), Charles Chaplin (the dude). Chaplin Opus 1. 314 m /16 fps/ 18'. Da Cineteca di Bologna, BFI/NFTVA, Lobster Films, restaurato presso L'Immagine Ritrovata 2005. ♪ Donald Sosin. Thursday 7 July 2005, Cinéma Lumière 1, Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna. In his first film, Charlie is at first sight unrecognizable in his dude costume, to quote David Robinson: "he wore a grey top hat, check waistcoat, stiff collar, spotted cravat and monocle. Most surprising was the long, drooping moustache of a rather dejected stage villain". The ultra-fast story is about a reporter (Lehrman) and his villainous friend (Chaplin) who wants to steal his girl and sets to flirting both with her and her mother. Following the Robinson synopsis, there is a chase, a contretemps in a lady's bedroom, and a grand finale on the cow-catcher of a moving train. "Chaplin hated the film" (Robinson); so did I.

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