Monday, March 5, 2018

Lion's Cage

I watched “The Lion’s Cage.” Charlie Chaplin’s character is running from someone who is chasing him at a circus, and he accidentally runs into a lion’s cage.  The lion is sleeping, and he humorously tries all sorts of ways to alert people without waking up the lion.  A girl sees him inside the cage and faints.  The lion eventually wakes up and does not harm him.  When the girl wakes up, she notices that Charlie is calm and collected, and she lets him out.  He tries to impress her by inviting her in, only to run away and climb up a flag poll.

Between Showers

I watched Charlie Chaplin’s short film “Between Showers,” which was released in 1914. The film features Charlie Chaplin and another unnamed main character, who are trying to impress a woman, but later the story develops into a fight over a stolen umbrella. The whole fight is ironic, because the first man who comes upon the woman ends up claiming that the woman stole the umbrella from him, but, in fact, he was the original thief when he stole it from the policeman. The exaggerated movements and facial expressions help to define the mood of each character throughout the altercation, and we see the resolution of the fight when the first man gets a policeman to arrest Chaplin. However, upon arriving on the scene the policeman realizes it was his umbrella that they were fighting over. He arrests the first man and hauls him away, while a second policeman walks up and hits Chaplin with his baton for harassing the woman.

I decided to watch The Masquerader, one of Charlie Chaplin's short films from 1914. The story features Chaplin as an actor performing scenes for Keystone studios. He messes up some of the scenes he's supposed to do and essentially gets fired. Later, a beautiful new "actress" comes to the studio and gets hired. Later the director realizes that the "actress" he hired was actually Chaplin who had dooped him.
What's interesting about this short film is that it came at a time where male actresses commonly played women's roles. However, the premise of the film seems to be a jab at the fact that if a woman were to come in to the same position at a male and have the exact same skills/attributes, they would be more likely to land the role.
I'm not sure if this was a common issue in hollywood at the time, but it certainly could make for an interesting critique of what was going on in the industry if that were the case.

A Dog's Life-Charlie Chaplin

A Dog's Life is a silent short from 1918 written and directed by Charlie Chaplin. The comedy uses music and sound queues on top of the exaggerated acting and body language to express the actors feelings and the mood of each scene. As a homeless man, Chaplin is shown sleeping in an abandoned lot and attempting to steel food. After his cat and mouse chase with the police, a scene of a dog in a similar lot is shown uncomfortably trying to sleep. This metaphor explains the title of the short and compares Chaplin to living like a dog. Soon, the Chaplin saves the same dog from being attacked, bringing their two stories together with the comment of Chaplin "A tender spot in a tenderloin." The short continues the show the similarities between Chaplin in the dog as they steal food and eventually fall into possession of and later steal a significant amount of money. Chaplin meets a woman and discusses the grand life they'll live far away with children thanks to the money he found. After scheming against the men who the money belonged to, Chaplin, the woman, and the dog run away together and live "happily ever after." The children he mentioned are ironically the dog's puppies. I found the film to be very funny and enjoyable. Chaplin's characteristic frame, big shows, mustache, and unique way of walking hid the seriousness of some scenes. While an audience would usually feel bad for a character like Chaplin's, it was too easy to laugh at and pity his pain. Though the movie addressed the issue of poverty and economic struggle, Chaplin manages to create a humorous and highly enjoyable journey to a happy ending.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Dentist (1914) -- Charlie Chaplin

For my short, I decided to watch the Chaplin short Laughing Gas. Chaplin stars as a dentist's assistant who poses as the real dentist, and he causes all sorts of mishaps in the office, including those using laughing gas (hence the name). At one point, he even straddles a man and dramatically pulls out the wrong tooth, and he accidentally pulls off the skirt of one of the women on the street after he trips up a flight of stairs. As always, he is fleeing from trouble throughout the entirety of the skit. In all of his shorts, Chaplin compromises for the lack of sound by using very exaggerated motions and facial expressions. Even the music playing over the short has an upbeat, comical feel that reflects the mood of Chaplin. I think what makes it so funny is his short stature, extremely large shoes, little mustache, and way of walking. 
I watched Charlie Chaplin's "By The Sea" which is a short silent film. It was a comedy of him fighting with men while flirting with their wives. He shows the classic slip on the banana and a lot of silly fighting between adult men. Being a silent film, the acting and fighting were all exaggerated which made it more humorous. It does feature a few words in between scenes to emphasize the change. For example they were fighting and then it said "Lets be pals". 

The Lion's Cage -- Charlie Chaplin

Cady Cooper
Dr. Atkins
Hon 399
4 March 2018
"The Lion's Cage" with Charlie Chaplin

"The Lion's Cage" with Charlie Chaplin is a comedic short that was made in 1928. It features Charlie Chaplin, a world renowned actor, in a silent short. This means that all of the facial expressions and body expressions are exaggerated to create a certain effect. In this short, Charlie Chaplin accidentally enters a lion's cage. The lion is asleep, so he must be quiet in order to try not to disturb the lion. Funny shenanigans occur like he almost dropped a loud pail, and a dog barks at him. Eventually, a woman finds Charlie but she faints once she sees him. The lion awakens but he does not threaten Chaplin's character. Once the woman awakens, she frees him and he runs out in fear from the lion. He climbs a large pole and humorously and skillfully floats down. That concludes the short, leaving the audiences relieved yet entertained. It was well-produced and served its purpose for the film and the audience alike.