Chaplin Program

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  • CHAPLIN IN MODERN TIMESJanuary 18 - 20, 2008, Avalon Theater of the Arts

    A retrospective of the artists major works, including The Circus, The Kid, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator and Limelight. Guest speaker David Robinson will address Chaplins development as a social commentator, the development of pathos as a cinematic device and Cold War repercussions. Q&A panels and discussion groups will follow each showing.

    INDONESIAN POPULAR CINEMAMarch 14 - 16, 2008, Avalon Theater of the Arts

    A look at the short-lived popular cinema movement of the early to mid-eighties, featuring Mystics In Bali, The Warrior, The Hungry Snake Woman, Lady Terminator, The Devils Sword and The White Alligator. Guest speaker Ogam Idoniri discusses the social change that brought about the movement and the govern-ment intercession which ended it. Q&A panels and discussion groups.

    GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST FILMMay 16 - 18, 2008, Avalon Theater of the Arts

    An overview of the genre of German Expressionism, with show-ings of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Nosferatu, The Golem, Phan-tom, Metropolis and M. Guest speaker Jerry Sylvania discusses the rise and fall of this art form, and the part the rise of Nazism had in bringing the style to America. Q&A panels and discussion groups will follow each showing.

    AKIRA KUROSAWAJuly 18 - 20, 2008, Avalon Theater of the Arts

    A retrospective of the artists major works, including High and Low, Stray Dog, Seven Samurai, Akiru, Throne of Blood and Ran. Guest speaker Stephen Prince discusses Kurosawas develop-ment from pre- through post-war Japan, the eventual dissolution of his individualistic themes and late renaissance. Q&A panels and discussion groups will follow each showing.

    INGMAR BERGMANSeptember 19 - 21, 2008, Avalon Theater of the Arts

    A retrospective of the artists major works, including The Sev-enth Seal, Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring, The Magic Flute and Fanny And Alexander. Guest speaker Peter Cowie talks about the development of Bergmans major themes of death and religion and his eventual abandonment of the film media. Q&A panels and discussion groups will follow each showing.

    BROTHERS QUAY AND VANKMAJERNovember 21 - 23, 2008, Avalon Theater of the Arts

    A look at the surreal imagery of stop-motion animators Jan vankmajer and the Brothers Quay, including Alice, Lunacy, Dimensions of Dialogue, Street of Crocodiles, Stille Nacht I-V and The Sandman. Guest speakers Stephen and Timothy Quay discuss their technique and conceptual workflow and major themes. Q&A panels and discussion groups will follow each showing.

    For the premiere of City Lights (1931), Chaplin traveled to Lon-don, and stayed there until 1932 before returning to the U.S. His next film was Modern Times (1936), which proved to be one of his greatest successes, followed four years later by The Great Dic-tator (1940), which was an indict-ment of the Nazi regime. Chaplin played a dual role, as a Jewish barber who fought in World War I and as the evil Adenoid Hynkel, dictator of Tomania. In 1945 he started working on a new picture, Monsieur Verdoux (1947), which was based on an idea from Orson Welles; he is thus credited in the film. In 1952 he released what is probably his best-known "talkie", Limelight (1952), which also fea-tured his longtime friend, Buster


    That same year he was found himself swept up in the anti-Com-munist hysteria known as the Mc-Carthy Era that was engulfing the U.S., and found himself accused by U.S. authorities of having Com-munist tendencies. Outraged and depressed, he left the U.S. for Switzerland. During his absence from the States he made two more films, A King in New York (1957), released in America 20 years later, and his final film A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), which starred Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren. This last film proved to be Chap-lin's only failure and was a box-

    office flop.

    In 1969 Chaplin began new scores for a number of his films, including "The Kid" and "The Circus". He also planned to make a film called "The Freak" with his daughter Victoria Chaplin in the lead role, wearing the wings her father had worn 50 years earlier in "The Kid". However, by this time Chaplin was already into his 80s, and he retired

    to live in Vevey, Switzerland.

    In 1975 he was knighted by the queen. He died in his sleep on

    Christmas Day, 1977.

    Perigee Cinema History sessions



    August 2010

    Tomlinson Theater

  • Warren BassWarren Bass is an independent filmmaker and Chair of the De-partment of Film & Media Arts at Temple University. He is also the present chairman of Perigee Cin-ema.

    He was trained at the Yale School of Drama in directing and at Co-lumbia University in film and documentary as their School of the Arts Scholar. He has taught at Yale, NYU, the State University of California, and the American Film Institute, has chaired univer-sity departments in Film, Televi-sion, and Theater in New England, served as Vice President of the University Film and Video Associa-tion, editor of The Journal of Film and Video, and for extended peri-ods of time as Director of Temple Universitys Graduate Program in Film & Television.

    His film and video productions have been aired on PBS, syndicat-ed television and cable in the U.S. and on European, Asian and Aus-tralian Television. His work has received over 100 regional, na-tional and international awards in-cluding the Platinum Award (First Place) Houston Worldfest; First Place Athens International; First Place First Glance; 1st and 2nd Places New Haven International; Canadian International (Toronto); Rochester International; The Brit-ish Animation Awards London; and the UFVA Award of Merit. Of-ficial Selections include Oberhau-sen, Budapest, Liepzig, Montreal, DeReel, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, St. Johns, and Uppsala in a total of 15 countries over the past six years; seven Public Television grants in the past six years, and the Penn-sylvania Council on the Arts Indi-vidual Artist Fellowship in 2003 and 2005.


    As we approach the centenary celebration of the works of Charles Spenser Chaplain, we look back on a man who has become an empty icon. There is no far-flung corner of the globe where a bowler hat, cane and toothbrush moustache will not instantly conjure the ghost of this comedic giant, yet his actual body of work is unknown to the vast majority of film-loving Americans.

    Times do change; it's not unreasonable that The Tramp has dis-appeared beneath the CGI filled, Surround-sound spectacles of modern cinema. But at the same time, film enthusiasts must see that Chaplin created the very film structure that every cinema blockbuster enjoys today.

    Chaplin was not just a comedian, but a pioneer in visual story-telling. He created the concept of pathos on celluloid, the use of tension and rest onscreen, the small gesture, the effective close-up and the ambiguous ending. To understand the import of Chaplin on the very nature of cinema, one must only consider what modern movie making would look like if it had followed the templates of his contemporaries - the overblown slapstick of Mac Sennett, the bombast of D.W. Griffith, the cement formula of Thomas Ince or the empty spectacle of Cecil B. DeMille.

    The French love Chaplin. The reason for this is not only for his comedic brilliance and masterful timing, but also because he of all the American directors was the only one learning from the French art house movement of the early twentieth century. He distilled the subtleties it honed and incorporated them into the larger cinematic language of popular film.

    In the popular eye, of course, all of this is secondary to the indis-putable fact that Chalie Chaplin is the most incredible physical comedian ever committed to celluloid. Masters of every age who have proceeded him have credited him as a primary influence, a human textbook of timing, expression, reaction and slapstick. There exists in the realm of comedy film making the concept of The Chaplin Disease, an expression meaning a filmmaker has attempted to match Chaplins exquisite mix of pathos and com-edy only to tip the film to disaster through his (inevitable) failure to do so.

    Matchless. In nearly one hundred years - without equal, without exeption, without argument - the absolute master of his craft. The little fellow continues to best the goliaths. For that, if for no other reason, film fans should turn their heads to see why Charles Spenser Chaplin is a worldwide icon. I welcome you to this session of Perigee Cinema, and implore you to bring a friend. I promise they will not be disappointed.


    Audio and Video recordings of the screenings, speeches and discussion panels at Perigee Cinema Sessions are expressly forbidden; violaters will be expelled without refund or right of re-entry. There are no exceptions - no written permissions have or will be given.

    This rule will be enforced!


    The Tomlinson Theater is equipped with a cell blocker in the theater area. You will not be able to make or recieve cell phone calls within ten feet of the theater entrance. Please schedule your attendance or telephone calls with this in mind; the cell blocker will not be disabled under any circumstance.

    The Tomlinson Theater is not ordinarily a movie venue, and you wont find a refreshments stand in the lobby. Further, food and drink are not permitted in the theater area. There are several restaurants and fast food franchises within a two-block walking distance.

    Most of our features this session are silent; talk-ing in the theater will be extremely disruptive. We ask you to refrain from