Charlie Chaplin; The Voice of Comedy

Essay by beckysarrazinCollege, UndergraduateA, October 2014

download word file, 9 pages 0.0

Downloaded 1 times

In 1914, Making a Living was released, and with it, the world was introduced to Sir Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin. Born in 1889, Chaplin spent his early years preparing himself for the camera in dance troupes and stage comedy routines (Charlie Chaplin, 2005). Having been born into poverty, Chaplin's rise to fame and riches was tremendously difficult, and in no small part due to Chaplin's revolutionary approach to cinema and comedy specifically. Chaplin redefined the comedy genre by bringing intelligence and sophistication to what was otherwise a slap-stick dominated field (Charlie Chaplin, 2005). Chaplin achieved this through refining the conventions of filming, extensive character development, portraying gender roles realistically, bringing attention to real world modern issues, and extensive levels of trickery, both in sound and filming. Chaplin's success is also due, in no small part, to his iconic character: The Tramp.

Chaplin was an early adopter and he made his movies in a time when the idea of movies was still relatively new.

Though there were other directors, the conventions of movies had yet to be defined and each director would bring what they thought was proper movie techniques to the screen. Chaplin understood the effects of certain camera techniques, and he used this knowledge to his advantage (Mast, G., & Kawin, B., 2011, 107-110). He would use the camera to trick the audience; they would be expecting one thing to happen, but another, more hilarious event would occur. For instance, in The Immigrant Chaplin establishes a shot where there are many people leaning over the edge of a boat seasick. Chaplin is one of these characters, however, though we are supposed to believe he is also seasick, it is revealed that Chaplin is simply leaning over the edge of the boat to catch a fish. He...