[Marxism] Fw: Chas Chaplin

Graham M. gkmilner at v-app.com.au
Sat Oct 13 16:17:08 MDT 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Graham M. 
To: Barry Healy 
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 11:45 AM
Subject: Chas Chaplin

Dear Barry,
                I was lucky enough to find some early Charlie Chaplin silent comedies on video and DVD.   They are held in the State Library system, so I requested them through Subiaco Library.   One of the videos is at Cottesloe, so it should only be a few days if it is not out on loan from that library.   I did borrow again, from Subi, Richard Attenbrough's film 'Chaplin', on video.   I love the early part of the film, where Chaplin is offered a job by Mac Sennett at the Keystone studios in California, while Chaplin is touring the USA with Fred Karno's troupe.   The Keystone studio sequences are very instructive, as well as funny.   I  read an account of the early Keystone company.   It seems that much of what they produced, with the early silent comedies, was semi-spontaneous, and the writers, producers and crews seemed to have a lot of fun doing it.

   When I was very young, in England, there was a programme hosted by Bob Monkhouse I think, which showed sequences from silent films, mainly comedies.   Chaplin featured a lot, of course, but there were shown other famous comics of the time like Harold Lloyd, Fatty Arbuckle, Ben Turpin, and others.   It must have been an exciting time in the early cinema, when the ground rules were being laid in the major film genres.   I'd like to do some more reading around this subject.   I might get hold of a copy of Chaplin's autobiography, to read his own version of the story (I've read a biography of him by Roger Manvell).

   I think the best thing about Chaplin, and the Keystone studios, is that the stuff they turned out, at least in the early years, was splendidly subversive.   No doubt J. Edgar Hoover strongly disapproved of the ridiculing of law enforcement officers in the Keystone cops.   There is a very funny sequence in Attenbrough's 'Chaplin' where Hoover is made fun of by Chaplin at a dinner somewhere in Hollywood in the 1920s.   It might have been a true story, as Hoover and the FBI clearly had Chaplin in their sights from early on.

   Are you going to the rally against Israeli aggression?   I think there is one at 11am on Saturday at Wesley Church corner.   And there is also an action planned for Hiroshima Day I believe, the following weekend.

                                            Best wishes,


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