This week in CiNECiTY we watch Charlie Chaplin’s last ever silent film and one of his most famous pieces of work, Modern Times.
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Cast: Charlie Chaplin
Written By: Charlie Chaplin
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Duration: 86 min
Colour: Black & White
Country/Language: USA / English
- This film was made after the introduction of synchronised sound to feature length films (1927’s The Jazz Singer was the first full-length sound film). Chaplin was originally going to use dialogue, he even wrote a script for the words, but after some experimenting he reverted to the silent format and just used the synched sound for effects. It was his last silent film, he eventually joined the status quo and all the films he made after this were “talkies”.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
- Why do you think the factory worker wanted to go back to jail? Why didn’t the lady want to go to jail? Did Chaplin want you to think that prison was like the factory, or perhaps even better? How can you tell?
- Modern Times was made and set during the Great Depression. Do you think Chaplin was concerned about the modern, industrial world having a dehumanising effect on people? Why? Do you think these concerns are still relevant today or have we succeeded in using technology positively?