>>Yeah his films were simplistic, but why does every film need to stir you on a deep intellectual level?<<
There answer is they do not. The ability to stir emotion is one of the great gifts film gives us. It was Chaplin who raised the stakes to demonstrate just how powerful film could be in this regard. That he also was an astute political commentator (Modern Times, The Great Dictator, even the class essence of the tramp character) only adds to his genius, but he would have been a treasure even if his work remained purely on an emotional level.
Every person on this planet should see City Lights at least once in their life… It is beautiful, funny, uplifting, sad, everything we love in the cinema.
Love me some good Chaplin. There’s nothing better than good Chaplin: funny and moving and surprising as in the Mutual Studios films and the magnificent THE KID and THE GOLD RUSH. The problem is that there’s a lot of really really BAD Chaplin, unfunny sentimental mawkish over-politicized and just plain dreadful, as in way too much of MODERN TIMES, CITY LIGHTS (the magnificent finale comes close to redeeming it, but not close enough), THE GREAT DICTATOR, and in the entirety of the unspeakable MONSIEUR VERDOUX, which I’d have to say is about the worst film ever made by a major artist.
Jeez Roscoe, which Chaplins do you like?
Like cat people and dog people, the world is divided into those who love Charlie and those who love Buster. I’m a Buster man myself.
Love em both, but I’m defintely a Chaplin man. Buster is the superior athlete and constructor of epic gags, but Chaplin’s combination of grace, vulnerability, commentary and a balls out laughs make him the fuller artist for me.
Buster is for the existentialists. Charlie is for the sentimentalists.
even the gold rush and especially the kid are mawkish and sentimental
Jeez Brad, if you’d read my post you’d see that I like more Chaplin than I don’t like. His work after THE CIRCUS is pretty painfully bad for the most part, the pathos crosses the line into mawkish tear-jerking, the political messages become lectures.
“Buster is for the existentialists. Charlie is for the sentimentalists.”
Oh please. Buster and Chaplin are for anyone who appreciates great comic filmmaking.
The Kid was the one time Charlie got too sentimental for me. I think he had the balance perfected by City Lights.
I liked a lot of The Great Dictator but i have to admit that i can’t stand his previous slapstick silent films, they’re just not my cup of tea really.
Buster is pretty sentimental too, I’m curious to hear the explanation for the ‘Existentialist’ comment.
I’ve only seen The General and Sherlock Jr, so maybe he gets really wildly existential in his other films. But those two are just about an unaggressive man of childlike emotion and intelligence trying to prove himself. I suppose Sherlock Jr has that long hero fantasy sequence, but The Kid has that big ‘Bureaucracy is stooped’ dream sequence too.
I have finally started to face the fact that I don’t really care for silent comedy at all. Buster Keaton’s best role is in Sunset Blvd.
(Runs and hides)…
Huh. I’ve never seen Keaton as sentimental, except for maybe Steamboat Bill Jr.
^ Check out Go West and a lot of cuteness around a cow named “Brown Eyes.”
It’s been a while since I’ve seen that one.
The cuteness around the cow named Brown Eyes in GO WEST is usually seen as being Keaton’s comment on sentimentality in general and Chaplin’s in particular. Keaton’s other films nowhere approach the extreme pathos of a CITY LIGHTS or THE KID. Not that I can think of, anyway.
Not that I have a problem with THE KID, where I think the pathos actually works. But THE KID does feature one of the most vulgar moments in American movies, where the shot of Edna Purviance with her illegitimate baby dissolves to a shot of Christ carrying the cross, to illustrate her martyrdom in the most tastelessly blatant way imaginable.