November 5, 2010

November @ the Trylon microcinema: Here Comes The Tramp: The Films of Charlie Chaplin

Last week I stumbled across a bemusing article suggesting that if you were to watch the extras on the DVD for Charlie Chaplin's The Circus (1928), you would see an old woman using a cell phone. In 1928. Video evidence is below for you to determine on your own, but if it's not actually true, it's a kind of funny sight nonetheless.

Wouldn't you know it, The Circus is showing this weekend only at the Trylon microcinema, kicking off the November retrospective, Here Comes The Tramp: The Films of Charlie Chaplin. Of course, you won't see the cell phone lady because the Trylon screens 35mm prints whenever possible, and there are restored prints for every film in this series, so you'll have to check out the DVD extras at home. Or just watch the video and decide for yourself...

Here are the goods via Take-Up Productions:

"Everyone's heard of Charlie Chaplin, but have you actually seen any of his movies? The Little Tramp, running from the cops, devouring boiled shoes, ground up by giant gears, lampooning Hitler—comic perfection. Chaplin was arguably the most influential film comedian in history, having inspired such strange bedfellows as Johnny Depp, the writer James Agee, and Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar, among countless others. Take-Up Productions proudly presents Chaplin's finest films, including a pair of his little-known features, and a series of shorts, many showing here for the first time in generations."

November 5-7 (Showtimes/Tickets)
Chaplin Shorts
In his early years, Chaplin made dozens of nearly forgotten shorts for the First National Film Co. Here's three of his finest: The canine comedy, "A Dog's Life" (1918); the religious satire "The Pilgrim" (1923); and "A Day's Pleasure" (1919), about a disastrous family outing.

November 5-7 (Showtimes/Tickets)
The Circus, 1928
On the run from the cops, the Little Tramp races through a circus, only to find himself the star attraction. Andrew Sarris calls this one "inexplicably underrated" and it shows in the Twin Cities for the first time in decades. With the short film "The Idle Class" (1921).

November 12-14 (Showtimes/Tickets)
A Woman of Paris, 1923
"The first serious film written and directed by myself" goes the opening title card. This unorthodox (for Chaplin) drama concerns the eponymous Marie St. Clair's (Edna Purviance) fall from grace. With the short film "Pay Day" (1922).

November 12-14 (Showtimes/Tickets)
City Lights, 1931
This story of the Little Tramp saving a millionaire from suicide, street cleaning after elephants, and helping a flower girl cure her blindness contains multitudes. Chaplin went against all advice by releasing City Lights as a silent well after sound dominated Hollywood, but it was a box office triumph.

November 19-21 (Showtimes/Tickets)
Modern Times, 1936
Working amidst the drudgery of an assembly line, the Little Tramp gets caught up in the gears and force fed by machines, yet through it all maintains his dignity… and wins the girl! With the short film "Sunnyside" (1919).

November 19-21 (Showtimes/Tickets)
The Gold Rush, 1925
The one for which Chaplin most wanted to be remembered, The Gold Rush is a hilarious look at the Tramp's prospecting failures. Many of his iconic moments are here—the dancing rolls, eating a shoe, the cabin teetering on the precipice. With the short film "Shoulder Arms" (1918).

November 25-27 (Showtimes/Tickets)
The Kid, 1921
Chaplin's first feature—a touching comedy that sees the Tramp and the titular child as partners in crime. When the state tries to take the kid away, Charlie stops at nothing to get him back. Considered Chaplin's most autobiographical picture. With the short film "A Day's Pleasure" (1919).

November 25-27 (Showtimes/Tickets)
The Great Dictator, 1940
Charles Chaplin's riotous blast against the Nazi war machine sees the Little Tramp in a case of mistaken identity—a Jewish barber becomes Hitler! Among his many successes, Dictator was Chaplin's biggest hit.


The Trylon microcinema is located at:
3258 Minnehaha Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Info Line: 612.424.5468


  1. An old lady talking on a mobile phone in 1928!!! wow, that's truly amazing, and quite impossible to explain. Thanks a lot for bringing this absolutely "bemusing" discovery to everyone's notice.

  2. Interesting you tube, and of course a festival for the ages! I had the great fortune to watch 20 Chaplins just two months ago at the Film Forum in Manhattan. I have always adored THE CIRCUS and a restored print was offered for one full week before the rest of his work unspooled over the following two weeks. All the titles you mention above were included, as were a number of the best shorts.

    There's nothing quite like it in the cinema.

  3. Shubhajit, I'm assuming you've seen the video evidence and are as perplexed as everyone else. I'm just not sure what that woman was doing with her hand.

    Sam, this retrospective is (I believe) the very same one that you saw and chronicled - we're starting to get a solid amount of the Film Forum prints a month or two after they screen in NYC. I won't be able to see as many as you did (all of them?!), but it's a great opportunity, no doubt about it.

  4. i am a huge fan of Charlie Chaplin.his movies was awesome.he was such a great entertainer.his movie was full of entertainment.i watched many movies of him.i like all the movies of him.


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