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The Great Dictator at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

The Great Dictator will be screened this evening at 9:30 pm at the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéma de la Plage.

Speaking of Chaplin and Cannes, here’s a video from the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, when Charlie Chaplin was honored with the title of “Commander of the national order of the Legion of Honor”:

French TV documentary "Le monde selon Chaplin"

france2 The French TV program “13h15 le samedi” was allowed access by the Chaplin family to their home movies filmed by Oona Chaplin. Three of Charlie Chaplin’s children, Annie, Eugene and Michael, and one of his grandsons, Charly Sistovaris, share their thoughts and memories. They talk of Charlie Chaplin, the working man, but also the family man. And they talk of their home, the Manoir de Ban, now a museum open to all

This documentary by Karine Comazzi, Frédéric Capron, Patrice Brugère and Oktay Sengul offers wonderful insights into the Manoir de Ban, former family home, now Chaplin’s World.

The documentary can be viewed in French here.

An Encounter with Pierre Etaix

Pictured above: Michael Chaplin, one of Charlie Chaplin’s sons, and Pierre Etaix, the revered filmmaker from France, whom we had the pleasure of meeting yesterday evening at the Swiss Embassy in Paris at a presentation of Chaplin’s World by Yves Durand, and of the book The Freak: Chaplin’s Last Film by author Pierre Smolik (a drawing by Pierre Etaix illustrates the book’s preface).


At the mere mention of “Chaplin”, Etaix’s eyes filled with emotion. He spoke of his lifelong admiration for Chaplin. P

In the photograph above, Pierre Etaix tells Kate Guyonvarch, managing director of the Chaplin office, that when he was a child he snipped some fur off of his aunt’s coat and stuck it to his upper lip, creating his own Charlot moustache. Etaix also remembers his surprise and awe at seeing Chaplin himself twice at Chaplin film screenings in Paris: once at the former Cinéma Paramount and once at the Cinémathèque Française, where he showed up extra early and sat in the theatre for over an hour and a half to be sure to have a seat, only to be asked to change seats by Cinémathèque staff when Chaplin himself showed up!

Show and Tell: Not Just Any Cog in a Machine

IMG 9138

Pictured above is no ordinary cog. It is a relic from Chaplin Studios that film archivist and historian Bruce Lawton recently showed us (and let us hold!). The small cog is made of wood and was used as a prop in Modern Times, in a factory scene with Chester Conklin.

Modern-Times 141

In Bruce’s own words:

“It was acquired by my great-grandfather, Don Malkames - who was an A.S.C. cinematographer and early film history preservationist - when he was working in California in the day. He first showed it to me at his house in Yonkers, NY during the summer of 1977 when I was 9 years old - where it was kept in his cinemachinery museum. I was already an avowed Chaplin fanatic - so I was mightily impressed! My Grandfather, Karl Malkames (also an A.S.C. cinematographer - and pioneering film restorer and preservationist) entrusted it to me one Christmas in the mid-1990s. It was Karl that first introduced me to Chaplin films as a very young child (he ran MODERN TIMES for me repeatedly - and it became my favorite film.) Presumably it is one of the VERY few existing cogs from the production.

Thanks, Bruce Lawton, for sharing this bit of history with Chaplin fans. Here he is pictured with the cog: IMG 1402