Strand hosts Charlie Chaplin film festival

Published 11:42 am Monday, September 22, 2014

Cool air was flowing from the freshly installed air conditioners as The Strand hosted a Charlie Chaplin film festival. The festival marked the 100th anniversary of his most iconic film persona “Little Tramp.” The festival was held Saturday and Sunday afternoon and featured 12 of Chaplin’s short films. The four shows, which consisted of three 25 minute films, included: “The Floorwalker,” “The Fireman,” “The Vagabond,” “One A.M.,” “The Count,” “The Pawnshop,” “Behind The Screen,” “The Rink,” and “The Adventurer.”

Daniel Boone, said earlier that the festival would be “the perfect family outing,” but after seeing them and realizing some touched on darker subjects like alcoholism, and drug use that wasn’t entirely true. While not extremely obscene or inappropriate, “the films show that this time wasn’t as innocent as we’d like to think” said Boone. While most films were filled with more than its fair share of humor, having some derived from this for a more realistic or romantic tone was a nice change and the variety was well appreciated. The films also showed how much effort, time, and editing was put into each film. The fact that they were able to pull off those scenes in that time is very impressive to say the least. While “The Vagabond” was a romance story “One A.M.” was a solo performance by a “drunk” Charlie Chaplin consisting of 25 minutes of pure slapstick humor. While the films were silent, music was always present.

“The seamless integration of the music into the films was the best part,” said Conner Ferguson.

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Each of the 12 films was released between 1916-1917 and are only a few of the 82 films he made throughout his lifetime. Lillian Martin, who worked at The Strand in 1951 said, “I’d never seen a Charlie Chaplin film and never thought I’d enjoy a silent film. They were all so fun to watch.”

Blake Parmegiani said, “There’s a certain essence that’s gained from watching these old films that’s lost in many of today’s big budget movies. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but it provides a lot of people with a sense of comfort, I think, in that there is still entertainment in the simple form of something like a silent movie.”

The Strand will be hosting “The Manhattan Short Film Festival,” Saturday at 7 p.m.. The event is being hosted at only two locations in Mississippi. The festival occurs every year simultaneously across the globe. Ten short films will be shown from an origianl field of 500.

The audience will then vote for best film and best actor. The winners will be announced on Oct. 6th after all votes are tallied. Tickets are on sale now for $7.