City Lights

Howard Beale

Waking Up Woke

I had an epiphany the other evening while flying from one airport to another in a world whose contours have grown less and less familiar to me. Far less friendly, too. It may be worth sharing since others, I suspect, may have been similarly struck. Actually, it hit me long before boarding the plane; in [...]

Chaplin’s Little Tramp on the Road to Emmaus

There is just published a new biography: Charlie Chaplin by Peter Ackroyd. The publishers are marking the 125th anniversary of the comic’s birth. It is, however, the wrong anniversary. As 100 years ago this year, a 25 year old English music hall artist was asked to come to California to make a screen test. Soon [...]

Our Summer of Silents

Silent movies were never silent; they were always accompanied by some manner of music, sometimes a full symphony orchestra led by white-tied and usually white-haired conductors, but more often the celebrated theater organist. For Chippy and me, this has been the summer of silents – excuse me – “pre-dialogue movies” more accurately describes the genre.  [...]

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