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Film Concert »Charlie Chaplin: Modern Times« //

conductor: Frank Strobel
directed by and music by: Charlie Chaplin (USA 1936)

 

Charlie Chaplin, the icon of early motion pictures, knew better than anyone how to walk the line between tragedy and ­comedy. His role as the ›Tramp‹, in which he plays a bum with the manners of a gentleman, garnered him world fame. Yet ­Chaplin was not only a talented ­actor, he frequently composed the music for his films himself. Although ›talkies‹, or sound films, had all but replaced the silent ­movies of the previous decades, ­Chaplin remained faithful to his ­pantomime acting method in this 1936 masterpiece. He never gave his tramp a voice because he supposedly didn’t know how he would have sounded – and therefore, it was also the last time he would appear in a movie. The modern times portrayed in this film are expressed in mass unemployment due to industrialisation. His representation of monitoring systems, alienation, the loss of individuality and the power of the media remain as topical today as ever.