City Lights by Charles Chaplin

City Lights by Charlie Chaplin

I enjoy Chaplin in the short form when the focus is in the gags. There are some good ones here, but Gold Rush had funniers moments to me.

But I fear that my understanding of it is considerably limited. Welles, Wenders, Tarkovsky, Woody, and Kubrick all hold this as one of their top-ten films and I fail to see why. Something about the business of inventing visual narrative. This, I acknowledge, but it is of merely historical value and hard to register.

Gold Rush had a cinematic pacing that this lacks. The shifts here are abrupt, and though his use of the continuous score is typically praised, my belief is that it actually prevents us from engaging into the unfolding. There is something about silence in a story that makes it move forward, that helps to let us in. I’m afraid that here the score clashes against everything.

The ending is generally praised. I concur.

Off to see “The Kid”.


Categories: Notes

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