The Essence of Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin’s remarkable life and comedic talent have been the focus of countless popular and scholarly studies. In this groundbreaking work, Chaplin’s often underrated skills as a film director take center stage. Highlighting the screen icon’s significance as a filmmaker, this study focuses on the heart of Chaplin’s cinema—his silent works starring his alter-ego, Charlie—and examines both his great silent film features like The Kid, The Gold Rush and Modern Times, and his shorter, earlier films like The Immigrant, The Pawn Shop, The Pilgrim and A Dog’s Life. An analysis of the formal properties of Chaplin’s filmmaking reveals the merit of his cinema, the depth of its emotion and the extent of its meaning. Chaplin is among the great artists of any medium, in any time, with an ability to touch on very subtle aspects of the human condition.