Thursday, September 25, 2014

Modern Times Review

I love animated films, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them, but I remember when my daughter exclusively watched only that genre at a very young age and I was thinking to myself, at what point can I show her more? When will she be ready to explore cinema beyond talking animals and snappy songs?

While she has been beyond that point for a while now, something happened the other day while watching the Charlie Chaplin masterpiece Modern Times that I was not anticipating. There I am, lying on the couch mesmerized by the film when I realized I wasn't alone. Not in the literal sense, I knew the soon to be seven year old was sitting across the room playing with toys, but the playing had stopped. She couldn't take her eyes off of Chaplin, and they never wavered from the screen for the remainder of the film.

It wasn't just the slapstick comedy that did it either. She was asking me questions about the story, she was expressing concerns about the relationship between the Factory Worker and the Gamin, but yeah, sure, she was also laughing hysterically at the brilliant comedic presence of Chaplin. She asked me to rewind the film multiple times so she could see specific scenes over and over again.

Modern Times was released 78 years ago, yet it managed to fill a 30 year old man and 6 year old girl with joy on a Saturday afternoon in 2014. It's an amazing achievement, a step above the also wonderful City Lights, and I can't wait to keep exploring his work.

Never imagined I would be doing so with a first grader, which makes the cinematic journey all the more special.


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