Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mabel's Busy Day


Reptile-Brain Cinema


Mabel's Busy Day by Mack Sennett, 1914:



Another Keystone picture walloped by a zero-inspiration title (remember, it was only three films prior to this that Sennett gave the world A Busy Day) / Another auto-race picture / Now the men on-hand are documentary participants, cracking up at this man Chaplin; a good number of them might even have recognized him by this point / Sennett himself lumbers about / And Mabel Normand, she's 'just an actress' / The disparity in these early Keystone pictures is immense / It's not even a matter entirely born of the discrepancy between craftsmen and genius, it's to do with the cutting of scenes, with the relatively lame 'business' handed to the other leads in the presence of Chaplin's unencumbered rhythms / Yet, to the director's credit, and in spite of Normand's title billing, Mabel's Busy Day remains one of Sennett's most unabashedly energetic devotions to the Chaplin Machine / And like the others it concludes in a clatter of vestigial impulse

Mabel's Busy Day by Mack Sennett, 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] / A Film Johnnie [George Nichols, 1914] / Tango Tangles [Sennett, 1914] / His Favorite Pastime [George Nichols, 1914] / Cruel, Cruel Love [George Nichols, 1914] / The Star Boarder [George Nichols, 1914] / Mabel at the Wheel [Normand and Sennett, 1914] / Twenty Minutes of Love [Chaplin and Maddern, 1914] / Caught in a Cabaret [Chaplin and Normand, 1914] / Caught in the Rain [Chaplin, 1914] / A Busy Day [Sennett, 1914] / The Fatal Mallet [Sennett, 1914] / The Knockout [Sennett, 1914]


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