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heneryhawk

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  1. One can see how setting was important to each of the three silent "giants" of slapstick. Lloyd's use of urban settings (Coney Island, a department store, a football field, etc) was tight and constrained, and settings in which a new urban middle class (in the 1920s more folks lived in urban than in rural areas for the first time in US history) could easily identify. Chaplin, while also using urban settings, often explored the underbelly of postwar existence--the loss of community and the soullessness inherent in modern society ( "The Kid", "City Lights", "Modern Times" for example). Keaton h
  2. The opening of the film is black, darkness (death?) with only Lydecker's voice "I shall never forget the weekend Laura died". At that point the camera fades open into an opening shot of a statue of a Bodisathva, or perhaps a Hindu deity, in any event signifying Eastern mysticism (reincarnation). Lydecker continues "a silver sun burned through the sky like a huge magnifying glass" indicating that a closer inspection is in order. The camera pans to a clock (passage of time will be a central motif) then to a silent McPherson studying masks (deception), who moves then to the clock where he chec
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