I've been working my way through some classic films with the kids, expanding my cultural literacy as well as theirs. You'll recall that we recently watched Metropolis and were struck by the image of workers dehumanized by industrialists putting them in mindless, mechanical jobs.
That film was a lot more grim than our most recent one. We watched Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times. If you haven't seen it, you should rent it. My daughter was constantly laughing. Deep belly laughs interspersed with silly giggles. I was struck by how spot on Robert Downey Jr.'s depiction of Chaplin was. Chaplin had a fantastic gracefulness. He moved like a dancer. And he got caught in some pretty funny situations, as the gears scene pictured above illustrates.
The theme of poverty and a system that met efforts to organize labour with violence was an interesting companion to the funny physical comedy. J. Edgar Hoover hated Chaplin with a passion and helped get him deported. I've said before I'd love to do a film course on blacklisting and the movies. I'm beginning to think it should be a much longer course than one of my simple 5 week ones. Maybe something broader, such as the treatment of capitalism in film. We saw Michael Moore's Capitalism, a Love Story recently, and it sure had some interesting food for thought.
I'll confess I saw New Moon with my girl this weekend (Team Edward!) and enjoyed it just as much as I did Modern Times. New Moon was devoid of political content. But it had some pretty hilarious moments, especially when the young men took off their shirts. The whole movie theatre was laughing each time it happened, because it was so gratuitous. I'm glad my girl likes to watch movies with me. It's fun laughing with her.
Daring Daughter and I agree: He's very pretty.