News - May 27, 2014


Review of the films of one of the greatest artists in the history of cinema will take place at the TRANSATLANTYK!

Charles Chaplin was able to achieve extraordinary things. He was not creating a simple entertainment for the masses, his films were a pertinent commentary, aimed at the world around him, sophisticated performances in which drama was mixed with humor. At the same time, Chaplin was able to tell his stories so simply, kindly and lovingly that each of his film premiers attracted everybody to the theaters, both connoisseurs of cinema, and the viewers who were treating his films as simple entertainment.

Inviting you to this year's Retrospective, we would like to recall Chaplin’s most interesting creations and make you look at them from a different perspective. Because Chaplin is not just Charlie, a funny tramp with a mustache, or a fantastic director of the films that have a permanent place in the canon of the Tenth Muse. The hero of this year’s Retrospectives was primarily an artistic visionary, though he probably would never have called himself one, being aware of his passion for the past. What visions are we talking about? The answer will be revealed in a wonderful, nostalgic journey into the world of old cinema with Chaplin's seven films presented at the TRANSATLANTYK.

Born 125 years ago, Charles Spencer Chaplin did not have an easy life. He grew up in a shelter, without parents; his father was killed by alcohol dependence, while severe mental illness took his mother. Up until the early 20s, there was no indication that this short, not particularly attractive man would become a symbol of the cinema. Even when Chaplin became a favorite of Mack Sennett, the most powerful Hollywood producer at that time, he was perceived, at best, as a very gifted improviser, able to contrive and act-out a funny scene on the spot. It was only after the success of "The Kid" (1921) when viewers have noted that under the guise of gags, Chaplin's character hides something else, comedy, lined with a touch of tragedy of the hero’s eternal maladjustment to the surrounding world. Eminent theater director, Vsevolod Meyerhold, wrote about him: "Chaplin's eccentricity begins to be supported by his deep motivation, which originates from en extraordinarily meticulous study of reality." Chaplin was both funny and sad and elicited tears of joy and sorrow. Actually, it was not him, but his character, Charlie, a tramp in a small bowler hat.

For a long time, he kept defending himself from the sound motion picture. Although, in the late 20s, this cinema has already gained crazy popularity, he believed that a voice would destroy the charm of the Tenth Muse. And somewhat in defiance of that, in 1931, he released his silent film "City Lights," one of the most beautiful melodramas in film history. The film was a huge success, and Chaplin triumphed once again.

During the TRANSATLANTYK, we will present seven films by Charles Chaplin, pictures from a later period of his work, which will perfectly show the evolution of his style, both as an artist and a director. We will also prove that artist's battle for his own vision never ends. As a result of this fight, at the junction of the dominant ideology and individual expression, timeless art has a chance to be born.

We will show how Chaplin was slowly getting used to all technical innovations that originally he did not particularity like, from the sound to the panoramic image. From tear squeezing "City Lights" and "Modern Times," condemning heartlessness of the technical world, to "The Great Dictator," a merciless satire on Adolf Hitler and National Socialism. Criminal "Mr. Verdoux," in which kind-heartedly looking Chaplin portrays a brutal murderer, nostalgic "Limelight," "A King in New York," mocking pop culture and the romantic "A Countess from Hong Kong," where Chaplin, for the first time in his career, stepped down and gave major roles to Hollywood superstars, Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren.

Do these films have something else in common? Yes, consistently high quality. Each of the seven pictures presented at the Transatlantyk is a mastery of its genre. "City Lights" is the definition of "classic" melodrama, with the use of "The Great Dictator," famous comedians learned the art of satire, while "Limelight" is a moving drama about the inner burnout; other big names (Fellini, Bergman, Scorsese) also used this topic, but Chaplin was the first, and according to many, the best. Viewers of this year's Retrospective will laugh and cry, admire the mastery of acting and enjoy intricately composed scenes and witty dialogues. Seven pictures, all radically different, but equally stunning, created by the same man - an icon of the world cinema.