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harlowkeatongirl

I just found my new 2nd favorite Charlie Chaplin movie!

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I LOVED "Limelight" last night. :D

 

It was a good little story. I love the part where he's onstage talking about making an earthworm smile. ****!

 

It's tied for 2nd place with "City Lights" for my favorite Chaplin movie. MUCH better than "The Great Dictator."

 

I think the world was definitely robbed of seeing this movie in 1952. And the scene with Charlie and Buster was awesome. And Buster was an excellent sport to do it, knowing he was on Charlie's turf and wouldn't get his best gags in the final cut. He's quoted as saying "I would've worked with Charlie for nothing." I don't blame him. He was a fascinating guy with great stories to tell. I'll bet it was a LOT of fun working on his films. And his kids were adorable when they were young! :)

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To harlowkeatongirl-(marvelous handle by the way!)

You obviously know from what you wrote of "Limelight," and it not being permitted an official release until 1972?-(by A.M.P.A.S. rules, a film must play for 1 solid week & In a regular legit theatre in Hollywood area to qualify-I reckon' meaning it cannot play at some X-rated type of theatre) So he won his only competitive OSCAR for it's wonderful scoring-(along with a couple other composers)

The documentary/special by critic Richard Schickel is the all-around finest I have seen on *Chaplin! I don't know of any other filmmaker whom also scored everything.

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Hi HKG. It really wasn't that Keaton was an "excellent sport" to appear in "Limelight" with Chaplin. At the time, Keaton had totally lost his reputation, career and property because of alcoholism, and it was because Chaplin cared for Keaton that he gave him exposure, and possibly a chance for anyone in Hollywood to see and hire him again. You are right about Keaton saying that he "would have worked with Charlie for nothing", however. But, Charlie saw to it that Keaton was paid quite well for his appearance in "Limelight". Chaplin, by the way, was well known for "helping out" a lot of folks in Hollywood from the earliest days who were down on their luck in later years. ML

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> I

> don't know of any other filmmaker whom also scored

> everything.

 

Well The Beatles did, but I don't think "Magical Mystery Tour" holds a candle to "Limelight." :P

 

 

 

 

 

 

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> Hi HKG. It really wasn't that Keaton was an

> "excellent sport" to appear in "Limelight" with

> Chaplin. At the time, Keaton had totally lost his

> reputation, career and property because of

> alcoholism, and it was because Chaplin cared for

> Keaton that he gave him exposure, and possibly a

> chance for anyone in Hollywood to see and hire him

> again. You are right about Keaton saying that he

> "would have worked with Charlie for nothing",

> however. But, Charlie saw to it that Keaton was paid

> quite well for his appearance in "Limelight".

> Chaplin, by the way, was well known for "helping

> out" a lot of folks in Hollywood from the earliest

> days who were down on their luck in later years. ML

 

 

He's not dumb though. Charlie was obviously torn between admiration and competitiveness when it came to Buster. That was made completely apparent by Geraldine Chaplin in the "The Life And Art Of Charlie Chaplin" special. He didn't mind anyone liking Buster at all... he just had a hard time accepting that anyone liked him BETTER. LOL :)

 

"But I was an ARTIST." **** :P (And what's worse is he was serious...)

 

Buster had to know what he was possibly getting himself into, though. But he didn't mind. That's the whole beauty of it. He admired Charlie SO much he didn't care that he was literally playing second fiddle and feeding this man's ego by working for him.

 

He also didn't fail to mention that, either. "I was an artist, I gave him work." Well.. good on ya Charlie... ;):P

 

The whole ego thing is ridiculous... I just try to concentrate on the man's work, which is brilliant. The guy was obviously very caring and passionate about his art and that's what's important.

 

 

 

 

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Oh Shyla, Limelight is a wonderful film, isn?t it? ("Gesundheit!" "It certainly does... the dress, it goes on tight!")

 

I Just wanted to quickly comment on what Geraldine said in the documentary about Charlie and Buster. Let?s not take out of context *why* Charlie said "I was an artist, and I gave him work"-- remember he was quite an old man when he said that, years after Limelight, and had been through a hell of a lot of controversy. We may have a hard time undertsanding Charlie's constat drive to be the best, but it's actually very simple: the fact of the matter is Charlie simply loved being loved. He was a man that absolutely needed this sort of reassurance. What he said to Geraldine's boyfriend was simply his private response to someone who didn't like his work? natural thing to do, if you ask me.

 

And actually, I took Charlie's remark, not to mean that Buster was NOT an artist because that point is unarguable, but almost to say "Fine, you can prefer whomever you like, but give me credit for being the artist I was.?

 

Oh, oh, and one more thing? Just to clarify a common misconception: lots of people think that Charlie cut Buster?s best gags out of that sequence out of jealousy, but in actuality that?s not the case at all! Jerry Epstein was the assistant editor for Limelight and he said ?That [rumor] is completely untrue and unfair. I was with Charlie every day to edit that scene. He?d shot for three weeks, enough for ten films, just for that sequence! He cut his own, he cut some of Keaton?s, and that?s because narrative meant more than anything else, no matter how good a gag was.? This is SO true, because throughout Charlie?s career he was absolutely and positively known for cutting TERRIFIC gags out of a film if he felt it just didn?t go with the narrative?and all the crew said that there was some *terrific* stuff happening on that set between Buster and Charlie! (On the new Limelight DVD there are some *beautiful* photo stills of Charlie and Buster on the set-- there's a great one of Charlie in costume with the violin laughing at Buster who is, straight-faced, telling a story. Oh to have been there in person...) What Norman Lloyd said in that documentary about Buster talking to Charlie during the death scene gives me goosebumps every time I see it!

 

And also, remember that in the film it is not supposed to be ?Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton? at that performance, but Calvero and his Partner-- the scene is Calvero?s big comeback scene? not Calvero?s partner?s comeback scene.

 

(Oh and ML, I believe that Keaton was working at the time of Limelight, wasn?t he Shyla? The Buster Keaton Show, right? And I believe Limelight came just one year after the Sunset Boulevard appearance.)

 

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*Rubs my temples to soothe my head from obnoxious loud customer with annoying, unintelligable accent shouting in my ear a few minutes ago*

 

LOL

 

Yep "Limelight" was during his Buster Keaton Show period. I would LOVE to think they got along famously. But you are correct ma'am. Maybe Charlie took it as "You're not giving me my credit" when Geraldine's boyfriend said that. Truth is, as Geraldine said, he wasn't so keen on Charlie Chaplin. But he was old and getting more and more insecure by the minute. Because he hated growing old and especially not being able to work like he did in the past. That's another reason I love "Limelight." He beautiful expresses all of those concerns in his character. :) The pain of growing older and being forgotten.

 

I can't help but wonder if the character trait of him being addicted to alcohol was based on Buster's earlier struggles at at all...? It's possible. He based those characters on a lot of people.

 

I'll comment more later. I have to get back to work. :( lol

 

 

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*ding, ding, ding* We have a winner!

 

Oh Shyla, you hit it right on the head-- the character Calvero IS Chaplin! It's been said the best way to understand such a complicated figure like Chaplin is to watch his movies, and boy is that ever the truth, Limelight being the prime example because Calvero represents everything Charlie was inside: the insecurities, the hunger for attention, the fear of losing it forever, death, love-- all of it!

 

I don't know if Calvero's alcoholism was in some way influenced on Buster's earlier problems... any references to a man slowly dying from his love of drink is almost certainly taken from the example of his father who died of alcoholism... but I'll certainly do some research on the subject to find out!

 

By the way Shyla, I'm at work too-- customer service like you, remember? Don't feel too bad because I'm right there with you: One Mrs. Cricket Reeves of Newport Beach has just asked me if she could please speak with someone else at the company who has an IQ over 20. (It doesn't take Einstein to figure out the reason we turned off your service is because you haven't paid us since NOVEMBER! X-( )

 

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A little Off-Topic, sorry everyone:

 

Oooohhh. People are vicious aren't they, Carley. A lady told me on the phone today "Talking to you is like talking to a rock!" :P:)

 

She wanted ME to tell HER why a product was sent out for repairs w/out any customer information attached to it, and why we didn't have the info in our system. She should already know they're supposed to get this information from the customer and then relay it to us so we can give them an authorization number... before they even send it out.

 

That would be like you or me dumping our car off at a mechanic, not telling them our name, contact info, or anything about the car or it's problems... and the mechanic actually being dumb enough to take it. LOL

 

And back to the subject at hand....

 

Calvero is a little sweetie, isn't he?! (And a cute one.) Dayum, if I were Thereza, I would've fallen for him, too. LOL! I think that was very much Chaplin's real personality, too. And he gave out a lot of valuable life lessons in the dialogue, too. I've been at a point in my life before where I'd given up all hope, too. And I sure could've used a wise lil' Calvero to lift my spirits like that back then. Too bad the character couldn't help himself. :(

 

And I think the actions speak louder than words or defense statements in regards to Charlie's feelings about Buster. I think Charlie admired him a great deal, despite the competitiveness. And there's no secret how Buster felt. I don't know how close they were, or if they were even very good friends. Probably just friendly acquaintances. But Buster called Charlie the greatest comic of all time in his autobiography, and Charlie didn't even mention Buster in his. And there's this look on Charlie's face after they bow to each other... well, you'll see it if you watch it. :| And I ain't making up stuff. I just see what I see...

 

And Geraldine, when she quoted her dad saying "But I was an artist." She definitely emphasized "I." :) She sounded like a woman who knew what she was saying... and about her own father. So I'm inclined to believe there was a little effort on Charlie's part to downplay Buster's talents to emphasize his own... even if he didn't really feel that way on the inside. I don't think he did. Because if he really thought Buster had nothing, he wouldn't have had such a strong reaction one way or the other about him. :) I think he knew Buster was special, just like him.

 

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While all the backstage speculating and gossip might be fun for some, I think it's important to judge what's on the screen without a primer on anyone's life or loves, or lack of same thereof. Understanding the artist is not the same and understanding or appreciating the ART. Thereza's attraction to Calvero doesn't seem so ingenuous when one applies Chaplin's real life attempts to control all his younger mates, making love to a 15 year old and such. It's rather distasteful to me in that context, but I simply choose to ignore that and enjoy the relationship as it is reflected in the film itself, not in Chaplin's May/December predilections off the screen.

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Well prof? I guess I have to disagree a bit with what you said? while it is certainly true that in most instances understanding the artist himself is not the same as understanding the art (nor is it necessary), but you have to admit that there are instances where understanding the artist can add an awful lot more to one?s appreciation of the piece of art in question:

 

Calvero mirrors Chaplin in so many ways, as a film enthusiast I?m sure you see those parallels, and that is all that Shyla and I were commenting on. It happens so often in all aspects of art: the character Stephen in James Joyce?s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a direct mirror of Joyce; of course you no doubt are aware how David Copperfield parallels Dickens? real life; Picasso created paintings one could call ?autobiographical?; and in cinema this idea of the filmmaker?s art reflecting their own life happens quite often. This does not mean that you can?t enjoy reading Portrait of the Artist unless you understand the author, nor does it mean you can?t admire a Picasso without understanding its? painter? but you must admit, it certainly can add to the entire experience when you are aware of the connections that might exist between the two! Chaplin?s film Limelight can be enjoyed, like you said, regardless of one?s understanding that the main character Calvero shadows its creator very closely? but it certainly does add another dimension when one becomes aware of said fact.

 

Anyway, that?s just my own opinion on the matter? no one is saying you MUST understand the artist to understand the art, but on the same token, does that mean that we SHOULDN?T? Especially in cases like Limelight, when there is such a close, direct relationship?

 

 

p.s.: I don?t know how Chaplin?s predilection for young girls came up into the subject since Shyla and I were talking about Keaton, but, just so you know, Lita was 15 when she signed a contract with the Chaplin Studios, but she was 16 when they began having a relationship? and that?s a whole different thread altogether?

 

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Awesomely said, Carley. :)

 

I have to agree with those old sayings of "art imitiates life" and vice versa.

 

That's where art comes from. If you're not taking from your own experience, you take from what surrounds you. But different people interpret art different ways. For people like Carley and I, art is more enjoyable when you understand it's origins and what inspired it. For others, like Professorecho, it's not relevant where it comes from. They just prefer to take it at face value and enjoy what it is based on their personal impressions and what it does for them.

 

It's kind of the same principal of how some people are really interested in reading rock and roll biographies and other people could care less and just prefer to hear the music. But some of us like to know where it comes from and there's nothing wrong w/that, either.

 

 

> While all the backstage speculating and gossip might

> be fun for some, I think it's important to judge

> what's on the screen without a primer on anyone's

> life or loves, or lack of same thereof. Understanding

> the artist is not the same and understanding or

> appreciating the ART. Thereza's attraction to

> Calvero doesn't seem so ingenuous when one applies

> Chaplin's real life attempts to control all his

> younger mates, making love to a 15 year old and such.

> It's rather distasteful to me in that context, but I

> simply choose to ignore that and enjoy the

> relationship as it is reflected in the film itself,

> not in Chaplin's May/December predilections off the

> screen.

 

 

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As for Charlie's relationships with women... that's another thread, I agree. ;) There's no telling why some people have a hard time settling down with one partner or why they go for someone so much younger than themselves. And you have to remember, at one time, it was a lot more acceptable for girls of 15 and 16 to court and marry than it is today... although it's still happens all the time today. (More lack of morals today, probably.) But Buster's last wife, Eleanor of 26 years, was 24 years younger than him. Who knows why people are drawn towards each other. A lot of Charlie's relations w/women could've had to do w/a lack of a mother earlier? Who knows. That's a Dr. Phil thing. lol

 

 

> Awesomely said, Carley. :)

>

> I have to agree with those old sayings of "art

> imitiates life" and vice versa.

>

> That's where art comes from. If you're not taking

> from your own experience, you take from what

> surrounds you. But different people interpret art

> different ways. For people like Carley and I, art is

> more enjoyable when you understand it's origins and

> what inspired it. For others, like Professorecho,

> it's not relevant where it comes from. They just

> prefer to take it at face value and enjoy what it is

> based on their personal impressions and what it does

> for them.

>

> It's kind of the same principal of how some people

> are really interested in reading rock and roll

> biographies and other people could care less and just

> prefer to hear the music. But some of us like to

> know where it comes from and there's nothing wrong

> w/that, either.

>

>

> > While all the backstage speculating and gossip

> might

> > be fun for some, I think it's important to judge

> > what's on the screen without a primer on anyone's

> > life or loves, or lack of same thereof.

> Understanding

> > the artist is not the same and understanding or

> > appreciating the ART. Thereza's attraction to

> > Calvero doesn't seem so ingenuous when one applies

> > Chaplin's real life attempts to control all his

> > younger mates, making love to a 15 year old and

> such.

> > It's rather distasteful to me in that context, but

> I

> > simply choose to ignore that and enjoy the

> > relationship as it is reflected in the film

> itself,

> > not in Chaplin's May/December predilections off

> the

> > screen.

>

 

 

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I think it can be very difficult sometimes to separate the art from the artist and when they collide, as they do in a film like BIRTH OF A NATION, it can become very uncomfortable, though no less historically significant. In our current culture of celebrity worship and extended public relations, everything from overbearing press junkets for a film to superfluous DVD commentaries detailing ever aspect of its making, we are often left with little to decide for ourselves. I don't necessarily fault people who are trying to sincerely appreciate a work of art more by understanding the artist, it's just that I think at some point you have to accept that every work of art takes on a life of its own, regardless of what the artist intended or invested in it.

 

Most audio commentaries on DVDs by performers or writers or directors are terrible because many creative people have a difficult time articulating their thoughts, which is, presumably, why they are creative people in the first place: They speak through their art. Nowadays so few of them trust their sub-conscious and inundate us with WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO THINK. The worst of critics do the same thing. Biographies can be equally worthless, bringing one no closer to the artist and potentially violating the art with apocryphal anecdotes and silly, sometimes harmful gossip. The best biographies seek to capture so much more than just the person, not who slept with whom, but the times and world in which they lived.

 

Perhaps my lack of curiosity over artists' private lives has to do with the fact that I work in the creative arts. Outside of espousing my opinions here and there, I tend to be a very private person and let my art do my talking for me. What you see is what you get. I can't imagine why anyone would want to know anything about ME outside of my work and I apply the same principle to other artists. Yet my wife, who is not an especially creative person, devours biographies and backstage ephemera in an effort to understand and appreciate all the how's and why's and what's of a person's talent. So I do accept the fact that there can be value to it, I just don't engage in it as often as so many others do. However, I have no doubt that some memory remnants of facts and fallacies regarding a filmmaker will appear in one of my posts and I will be summarily branded a hypocrite soon enough.

 

Lastly (and thanks for staying with me throughout this epic!), I wanted to tell Littletrampy and H.K.G. that I actually attempted to watch Richard Schikel's profile of Chaplin on TCM. Quite frankly, I found it unbearable. It was unbiased, needlessly fawning and not even historically accurate. It pretends Chaplin's last two films don't even exist and glosses over his lusting after adolescents (sorry, even if it was more "accepted" back then, it's still distasteful and I'm no prude, but come on, there's more than just an age difference question when someone engages in that behavior. But, of course, I agree that is a future discussion). I'm very fond of the following quote which, of all people, Richard Schikel wrote several years ago, but obviously doesn't subscribe to anymore. Still, the quote has merit:

 

"I have come to believe, as a matter of principle,

that the desire to penetrate the private lives of

stars, to discover what they are 'really like,' is

both feckless and socially undesirable. If we spent

half the time we do trying to get behind the screen

and devoted it instead to a thoughtful, nuanced

contemplation of what is right there before our eyes

on the screen, we would be the richer for it-and

perhaps the better for it."

 

 

 

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Incidentally, Carley and Shy, I've enjoyed this discussion with both of you very much. Are you guys interested in being part of the live chat some of us TCM board folks have every now and then? It's a lot of fun to actually connect live with each other and I promise to keep the flirting down to a minimum.

 

Oh, and Carley, in a previous post elsewhere on these boards, you immediately assumed I was the person who was bothering you at the Silent Movie Theatre the last time you were there. Now would I do that? More importantly, do I seem like the kind of person who would let ANYONE disrupt my watching a film? All those formerly rowdy patrons with popcorn bags over their heads would beg to differ.;)

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>Perhaps my lack of curiosity over artists' private lives has to do with the fact that I work in the creative arts. Outside of espousing my opinions here and there, I tend to be a very private person and let my art do my talking for me. What you see is what you get.

 

Then Prof, it sounds as though you are not so very different from the private Mr. Chaplin who let his art do the talking for him and once said "if you want to understand me, watch my movies."

 

Which brings me back to the reason that I was talking about the significance of Limelight in the very first place.

 

Incidentally I am an Art Major myself-- what area of the creative arts do you work in?

 

(and I did not assume you were the troublemaker behind me at the theater. I was making an apparently very bad joke)

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Then I guess my joke was even worse, Littletrampy, for I too was just kidding about our Silent Movie non-encounter. And I hope none of my oh so serious declarations will hide the fact that I enjoy some of Chaplin's work and acknowledge his contribution to the history of cinema.

 

Speaking of art history, I was sad a few years ago when revelations about my favorite artist Edward Hopper came out and portrayed him as a wife abusing low life. So while sometimes learning about an artist can add to your appreciation of his art, sometimes it can subtract as well.

 

I hope you and HKG will join our chat group! So far, we have Stellabluegirl, antarexpurgated and pmg.

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A framed print of "Chop Suey" is the focal point of my room's decor.

 

You wrote "I was sad a few years ago when revelations about my favorite artist Edward Hopper came out and portrayed him as a wife abusing low life. So while sometimes learning about an artist can add to your appreciation of his art, sometimes it can subtract as well."

 

This is something that we've been in agreement of all along: My argument was simply that there are times when a particular piece of work can truly reflect the artist's self and that there is nothing wrong with discussing such things? not whether knowing about the artists' faults can detract one's appreciation of him.

 

And since you?ve stated that you are the sort of person who accepts works of art on their own merit, regardless of what the artist intended or invested, it is little wonder that your favorite artist remains Edward Hopper despite his personal faults.

 

Just as my favorite cinematic artist remains Chaplin despite his personal faults.

 

(oh, and I'm something of a bookworm so I do enjoy reading biographies: preferably autobiographies. Saroyan?s The Human Comedy, and then Angela?s Ashes, both autobiographies, are among the best pieces of literature I?ve ever read.)

 

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maybe I've just put two and two together: your handle name is 'professorecho' and you talk about art history-- perhaps you are an art history professor? If I'm being nosy and it's none of my damn business, just tell me so, I can handle it.

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Actually, Littletrampy, my name comes from an old movie, but I won't tell you which one, so that when you happen to see it you can go: "So that's where that idiot got his name!"

 

I'm not trying to be evasive, it's just that I don't like talking about myself or my work very much. Especially in a public forum. I probably would tell you if we corresponded or met each other sometime. Trust me, it's not very exciting or glamorous, it's just what I do.

 

We agree on Hopper and Chaplin and the effects or lack of same involving revelatory incidents in their private lives. The annals of all culture are filled with talented people who were otherwise flawed; the key, I think, is to acknowledge the flaws without accepting them and pick and choose which artists are still worthy of attention and affection despite their transgressions.

 

As always, I love talking to you and I hope you are having a relatively alcohol-free good time this Friday night, as opposed to last week. LOL. So what do you think about joining our chat group?

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> As always, I love talking to you and I hope you are

> having a relatively alcohol-free good time this

> Friday night, as opposed to last week. LOL. So what

> do you think about joining our chat group?

 

 

Tsk tsk, Carley... ;)

 

Where is this chat room located? I'd love to chat sometime!

 

 

 

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HarlowKeatonGirl--the chat room he speaks of is an MSN one. If you want in, email me your email address and I'll send you an invite (you'll register through your email pretty much). You are, of course, very welcome to join us!

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