Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Film Johnnie


Not the Hero of The Room


A Film Johnnie by George Nichols, 1914:



Charlie goes to the movies / Charlie wrings the tears out of his hankie onto his trousers / George "Pop" Nichols cuts between what's happening on-screen and off- (the "off-" is the theater-space of the rapt audience [comprised of Keystone contractees of every stripe], eyes fixed just above the lens onto the invisible reverse-shot which is the whatsit happening inside every viewer off-screen in real-world watching this picture or DeMille's Cleopatra or Sembène's Xala or You Wont Miss Me by Ry Russo-Young) — from large-scale Civil War battle blowout to dally-romance / Fatty Arbuckle gives the Tramp a coin / Ford Sterling does not / (Or is that Henry Lehrman?) / A "stage-door Johnnie," you see, was someone lingering after the performance for an autograph / The Tramp migrates to a door on the premises of the Keystone Studio... / Charlie plays the early version of the celebrity stalker, which is a meme, like "shitshow" / As such he destroys it / (The meme) / The Tramp will always require props / The Tramp lariats a prop gun around to stoke genuine fear / The Tramp destroys a film-in-progress / Makes a shitshow / Then calls 'cut' on this one

A Film Johnnie by George Nichols, 1914:






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Previous pieces on Chaplin at Cinemasparagus:

Making a Living [Lehrman, 1914] / Kid Auto Races at Venice, Cal. [Lehrman, 1914] / Mabel's Strange Predicament [Normand, 1914] / Between Showers [Lehrman, 1914]


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