Seventy-five years ago on this date, the immortal Charlie Chaplin asked moviegoers to smile in a film that hasn’t lost any of its charm or ability to make people laugh…though their heart may be breaking, as the song lyrics go. Over at Edward Copeland on Film…and More, I took a little bit of time to commemorate the diamond anniversary of Modern Times (1936), a satirical comedy that passionately pleads for humanity in an age of industrial mechanization.
Revisiting Modern Times reminded me of an incident that I thought I previously mentioned on the blog but since I can’t seem to locate it I’ll take a few seconds to tell it again. During my convalescence last year, my sister brought over my nephew for a visit and he was sitting on the floor of my living room when he crawled over to one of my DVD shelves and started grabbing discs at random. The first one he removed from the shelf was a box set of Charlie Chaplin films and I, of course, was beaming because I thought the kid showed remarkably good taste—though Kat cracked: “Look, any movie he grabbed from that shelf was bound to be a classic film.” I just wish someone had thought to take a picture of his hi-jinks; I remember rhetorically asking at the time: “Do you mean to tell me no one here has a cell phone that’s capable of taking photos?” (Mom: “I do, but I haven’t learned how to work it.”)