Be Brave, Face Life

Be BraveThat’s the opening line from Charlie Chaplin’s great movie, City Lights, from 1931.

Chaplin’s alter ego, the Tramp, happens upon a rich drunkard tying a rock around his neck, about to drown himself. Chaplin buoys him up.

Funny funny funny!

“I am shameless, I am offering myself to you, but at the same time, I’m afraid.” – Philosopher Slavoj Zizek on what the ingenious and sparkling last scene of the film is saying overtly (the Tramp to the blind flower girl); covertly (Chaplin to his audience); and offers an insight into the perils and pitfalls each of us encounters in our quest for love and acceptance.


The video clip is from Sophie Fiennes’ thought-provoking documentary “A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema.”

The amount of film used for the picture was unusually huge and a sign of the long production process. Chaplin shot 314,256 feet of film and the finished film ran 8,093 feet. That’s a shooting ratio of 39 feet of film shot for each foot of film that made it into the movie.

The movie played yesterday afternoon at the Brooklyn Public Library as part of the series “Silent Soul-Searching.” This is a lovely gift curator Ken Gordon offers the community between October – May, now in its 13th year of free public screenings.

When I arrived at the movie yesterday I was feeling sorry for myself. Feeling misunderstood and alone. The film made me sob and, finally, fantastically, made me laugh myself silly. What a blessing.

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