On October 24th, MK2 in France began its retrospective called De Charlot à Chaplin, featuring digitally-restored versions of 10 Chaplin films (The Kid, A Woman of Paris, The Gold Rush, The Circus, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, Monsieur Verdoux, Limelight, A King in New York).
The films were remastered from the best existing material, scanned at high-quality 2k resolution, then digitally restored and graded. Before being scanned, much of the original material had already undergone photochemical restoration at the Cineteca di Bologna.
The films can be seen every Saturday and Sunday from now until the end of the year at the newly opened high-tech MK2 cinema at the Grand Palais in Paris. Reserve now at mk2.com.
The Cinematheque of Bologna has taken nearly 8 years to accomplish the colossal task of scanning and indexing all Chaplin’s Archives - images, scripts, manuscripts, letters and thousands of documents such as daily production reports, drawings, press-clippings, exhibitor books, programmes…
Fantastic resource for historians, film academics, biographers, journalists etc. who can apply for a full or partial access to this material in the context of a specific project.
The exhibition includes original photographs, film posters, production notes, press cuttings, extracts from Chaplin’s films, contemporary newsreel footage, makings-of, rushes, and other archival material relating to the exhibition. In addition, we have access, via the family archives, to hitherto unpublished negatives, often 8x10, whose quality will allow for new, large format prints.
The recent cinema and DVD success of restored versions of “The Great Dictator” and “Modern Times” raises the issue of the contemporary relevance of the work of Charles Chaplin, who was born in London in 1889 and died in Switzerland in 1977, aged 88. True, the sheer staying-power of the Chaplin shorts as TV fare has ensured continuity between successive generations of viewers; and the Little Tramp image remains in constant use the world over, from America to Japan, as a symbol of the clash between man and machine, the confrontation with dictatorship and all the anachronistic grace of pantomime. This exhibition, however, seeks to go beyond the conventional portrait by drawing on the Chaplin family archives and their wealth of largely unknown documentation.
There exists a mass of subsidiary material relating to Chaplin’s films and life, and by tying this in with extracts on video we can actually show the artist at work. Where did the Little Tramp character come from? What kind of parts did he mostly play ? What comedy situations recur from film to film ? Beginning with the birth of the Little Tramp, the exhibition moves on to the elaboration of a gag via footage showing the enormous amount of work that could go into a sequence lasting only a few seconds. Comparisons with the Little Tramp’s successors “Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot, for example” offer real insight into the Chaplin comic style and its legacy.
While the Little Tramp is without doubt the 20th century’s best-loved single character, it should not be forgotten that he was also an emblematic figure for the 1920s avant-garde. The press coverage of the time points up this dual success, as does the work of artists as different as Moholy-Nagy, Erwin Blumenfeld and Robert Doisneau. Born into the poverty of working-class London, Chaplin conquered America as it was becoming the most powerful nation in the world: how to explain this daydream come true? The exhibition closes with the end of the artistic growing-up period, the moment when the Little Tramp becomes an adult: confronted with Hitler, Chaplin set out to replace the dictator with a Jewish barber; but then looked his viewers right in the eye, as if to address the whole of human kind.
Sam Stourdzé, exhibition curator, notably of Les Coulisses d’Hollywood (Behind the Scenes in Hollywood), photographs from the Universal Studios collection, Paris Photo, 2001.
Christian Delage, historian, whose books include Charlie Chaplin, La Grande Histoire, Editions Jean Michel Place,Paris, 1998.
Chaplin in Pictures was presented in….
At The Jeu de Paume gallery from June 7th to September 18th 2005
From October 2005 to January 2006.
At the Deichtorhallen from February 2006 to end of May 2006.
Lausanne, Switzerland Musée de L’Elysée from June 15th to September 24th 2006.
Musée de L’Elysée
18, avenue de L’Elysée
Tel: + 41 21 316 99 11
At Le Botanique From 12 October to 31 December 2006
Centre culturel de la Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles
rue Royale, 236
Bruxelles 1210 - Belgium
At “Le Pavillon de l’image” From February to April 2007
2 place de Ptronque
At Sala Bostra From June 2nd to October 30th 2007
At Caixa Forum Madrid From July 2 to October 19 2008
Paseo del Prado, 36. 28014 Madrid
At Palacio da Quintanilh
From September 4 to October 4 2008
In the [Lisbon Village Festival]
Rua Tierno Galvan – Torre 3, Sala 405
1070-274 LISBOA | PORTUGAL
Tel +351 21 0190922 | Tlm +351 917 580 956