If Dark Side of Oz is too long and you found the Dark Side of Alice's Wonderland a stretch at best, or you like the older films like Nosferatu but an improvisational noise-art soundtrack isn't your cup of tea, you might enjoy Chaplin's Moustache, a blog with write-ups on old films, with re-scored clips interspersed for fun. Sadly, the blog is dormant and some of the videos have been taken down, so if you're looking for the videos, here's the YouTube channel with almost 150 video clips. [more inside]
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
The climactic speech from Charlie Chaplin's first talking motion picture, The Great Dictator, re-enacted by Team Fortress 2's own Herr Doktor
Files have been released showing that the MI5 investigated Charlie Chaplin's origins at the request of the FBI, attempting to check claims that besides being a communist, he might be Jewish, and/or French. His life story by his own account has him born in London, but no birth certificate has been found and last year evidence emerged that he might in fact have been born in a gypsy camp.
There are lots of great films in the public domain and many of them are online. OpenFlix has 600, including a bunch of Chaplin, sci-fi and horror B-movies, film noir and HD versions of The Kid, M and Night of the Living Dead. Drelb has 400, including Buster Keaton's The General and Steamboat Bill Jr., episodes of Bonanza and Dragnet and Three Stooges shorts. Crazeclassics has over a 100, including The Third Man, Roger Corman's The Little Shop of Horrors, Bringing Up Baby and To Kill a Mockingbird. Ampopfilms has 80, including His Girl Friday, Reefer Madness, Destination Moon and the 1954 animated version of Animal Farm. Gravitas Ventures has 35, notably Vampyr, Death Rides a Horse and Borderline.
To promote their upcoming Charlie Chaplin releases, Janus Films asked Kate Beaton (of Hark! A Vagrant fame) to produce a poster. In her LiveJournal thread announcing the job, a commenter linked to this story about the discovery of an unknown Chaplin film called "Zepped." [hat tip to Rosie Shuster]
An Indian Doctor's Cure-All: Charlie Chaplin "Aswani's pushing sixty. He's not in great physical shape, thanks to a bad motorcycle accident years ago and also arthritis but he can do the funny walk beautifully." In a story about movies that seems like it would make a good movie itself* (or at least a moving story on This (Non-)American Life), Ashok Aswani, a practitioner of ayurvedic medicine in Adipur, India has taken the phrase "laughter is the best medicine" to its logical conclusion and hands out free DVDs of Chaplin movies to cheer up his patients [more inside]
Charlie Chaplin [previously, except the primary link from blogspot is down] has a grandson, James Thiérrée. Growing up in his parents circus Le Cirque Imaginaire (later, Invisible), the acrobat evolved into performer/director/choreographer of soon to be four full-length works. (Full disclosure: the first three are all from La Veillée des Abysses--Bright Abyss--and the latter is a preview for his upcoming solo act Raoul.) He's also made forays in movies you've probably seen. More? Check out this Au revoir Parapluie (Farewell Umbrella) medley, and how about some trapeze? [more inside]