Pittsburgh celebrates Charlie Chaplin’s birthday with special screening | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh celebrates Charlie Chaplin’s birthday with special screening

click to enlarge The Kid - PUBLIC DOMAIN
Public domain
The Kid
If your films are still being discussed over a century after their release, chances are you’ve made your mark on the film industry. Such is the case with Charlie Chaplin, whose legacy will carry on in Pittsburgh during a special 133rd birthday showing of his 1921 film The Kid at the Harris Theater.

Taking place on Sat., April 16, the event will feature a restored version of the silent 53-minute film about Chaplin's iconic Tramp character caring for an abandoned child. The film will also be accompanied by a talk and audience discussion led by noted mime artist and choreographer Dan Kamin.

Written, produced, and directed by, and starring Chaplin, The Kid went on to become the second-highest-grossing film in 1921. As Chaplin's first full-length film (by the standards of the era), it cemented him as a revolutionary force in the then-new medium. After its release, the Chicago Herald and Examiner newspaper declared that The Kid "settles once and for all the question as to who is the greatest theatrical artist in the world."


From there, Chaplin would go on to make a number of films considered essential to the medium, including Modern Times and City Lights.

In 2011, The Kid was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

On his website, Kamin, a Pittsburgh native who attended Carnegie Mellon University, credits Chaplin and fellow silent film star Buster Keaton for influencing his career. His most notable credits include working with Johnny Depp on the Chaplin-esque physical comedy sequences in the film Benny and Joon and as a choregrapher on the 1992 biopic Chaplin, which earned Robert Downey Jr. a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for the title role.

“Classic movies inspired me, and I came full circle by adding classic visual comedy to modern films," says Kamin in a press release.


A press release says that Kamin, who wrote The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion and Charlie Chaplin’s One-Man Show, will reveal what keeps The Kid "fresh, funny, and incredibly moving to this day."

Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid at 100. 7:30 p.m. Sat., April 16. Harris Theater. 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $15. trustarts.org/film

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