CHAPLIN UNDER THE STARS is a collaboration between the Just For Laughs and Fantasia festivals, and Loto-Québec. The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s first screen appearance. To celebrate this century of smiles, we present three short films featuring this legendary master of cinema.
Over the course of an evening, the two festivals revive the glory days of silent cinema with a free outdoor screening. To rekindle the spirit of the era, the images on screen will be accompanied by live improvisations on piano by Gabriel Thibaudeau. Composer, conductor and appointed pianist for the Cinémathèque Québécoise, Thibaudeau is known across the globe as a great specialist in silent-film accompaniment.
MAKING A LIVING (USA, 1914, 13 min.)
MAKING A LIVING is a burlesque comedy directed by Henry Lehrman. Released in 1914, this short marked the very first time Charlie Chaplin appeared on screen. Notable, in this film, he doesn’t play his iconic Little Tramp character so beloved by cinephiles.
A DOG'S LIFE (USA, 1918, 30 min.)
In June 1917, Chaplin signed an eight-picture deal withFirst National Pictures, and was able to build his own studio with state-of-the-art gear. Enjoying at last complete creative freedom, Chaplin released A DOG'S LIFE, the first of his new crop of films. It’s the favourite of many Chaplin fand, and often regarded as the definitive portrayal of the Little Tramp.
IDLE CLASS (USA, 1921, 32 min.)
Created 1921, IDLE CLASS was the last of Chaplin’s shorts before he devoted himself to feature films. He plays two roles here, his Little Tramp and his doppelganger, a drunk, irresponsible millionaire. Top-shelf buffoonery and a solid statement against alcoholism, on tap in this often overlooked gem.
— Marc Lamothe