Charles Chaplin, dressed as his iconic Tramp character. TUCHONG
Say the name Charles Chaplin and most people immediately think of a bowler hat, baggy pants and a silly mustache. Behind this silly character, however, Chaplin was a serious filmmaker.
Chaplin, who died in 1977, would be 130 years old this month. He was silent film’s first superstar.
US blogger Scott Parker-Anderson writes that Chaplin had a natural ability for acting and comedy. Maybe it came from his mother, a singer and stage actress. Unfortunately, she lost her voice, so Chaplin and his brother had to make money any way they could.
“I was newsvendor, printer, toymaker, doctor’s boy, etc., but … I never lost sight of my ultimate aim to become an actor,” said Chaplin. After years of trying to find acting work, he was finally hired at Keystone Studios, where his life changed forever.
One day, Chaplin was told to dress funnier, wrote Pamela Hutchinson in the Guardian. He went to the wardrobe and when he came back, The Tramp was born.
Chaplin made the character funny by mismatching his looks. “I wanted everything a contradiction,” said Chaplin. Chaplin mixed baggy pants with a tight coat, giant shoes and a little hat.
Audiences immediately loved The Tramp. His style of physical comedy was perfect for silent films. In one famous scene, the Tramp roller skates around a department store with his eyes covered. It’s both funny and horrifying as he nearly falls off a ledge.
Besides acting, Chaplin wrote, directed and even composed the music for many of his films – he was a violinist, cellist and pianist. He loved every aspect of filmmaking, and was a famous perfectionist, according to historian Hooman Mehran.
除了演戏之外，卓别林创作、执导了多部电影，甚至还为他的不少作品配乐 —— 他能演奏小提琴、大提琴以及钢琴。历史学家胡曼·迈赫兰认为，他热爱电影制作的方方面面，也是出了名的完美主义者。
Speaking to CNN, Mehran called the director “the king of the re-take”. Indeed, Chaplin once made an actress say “Flower sir?” 342 times before he was satisfied with her performance.
This dedication to his art was the key to Chaplin’s success. He is perhaps the only silent film star anyone remembers. Film critic Andrew Sarris says Chaplin’s legacy is much bigger. He calls Chaplin “the single most important artist” in film history.
本文英文音频由我报外籍编辑 Daniel Daugherty朗读