Chaplin Today: The Kid
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Fans of Charlie Chaplin will love this fascinating documentary from director Alain Bergala, which takes an in-depth look at one of The Little Tramp's great masterpieces, The Kid (1921), and examines its enduring worldwide appeal.
The Kid was one of the most significant films in Chaplin's career. It was his first feature-length work throughout which he acted as star, director and producer. It was a labor of love that took over a year to complete and came in the midst of a difficult divorce from first wife Mildred Harris following the death of their newborn child. The Kid revitalized Chaplin's creative energy, which had been waning in the midst of his personal unhappiness, and inspired him to reach a new, more mature level of excellence in his already popular work.
Bergala's documentary offers an abundance of clips from Chaplin's timeless classic, as well as some rarely seen footage. These gems include scenes from a private film Chaplin made for fun with young Kid star Jackie Coogan at the home of close friend Douglas Fairbanks, as well as footage of Chaplin conducting an orchestra in 1971 as they perform his original heartbreaking musical score written for subsequent re-releases of The Kid.
Additionally, Chaplin Today: The Kid looks at the lasting legacy of Chaplin's work, which has managed to touch people the world over. An interview with contemporary Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami is featured, who weighs in on Chaplin's strong influence over his own work through the years.
By Andrea Passafiume