Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Rink


The Rink by Charles Chaplin, 1916:

• Charlie-as-waiter jots items on a patron's check: "spigitty", "mellon", "4 biers"

• Master of the physical universe.

• Why do men eat tools, impedimenta of men? 'Not anymore, Jack!'

• Chaplin's physical strength. When he tears the arms off chairs, there's no need to rig them in pre-production.

• A difficult film to follow, the mind skates along.

• You have seen nothing until you've seen Charlie on roller-skates. Anyone who watches Chaplin, from cinephile to 'popular spectator,' understands that he's the equal of Keaton. Aside from the tours-de-force of the two rink sequences, watch Charlie, seated on the bench next to Edna Purviance, use the lip of the moulding on the wall behind his head to make his hat "floop!" up repeatedly in expression of delight, as though it were attached to a string jerked by a grip in the rafters.

• The film's title becomes metaphor that you need not consciously comprehend, but you watch the film and you understand The Rink exactly.




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] / Mabel's Busy Day [Sennett, 1914] / Mabel's Married Life [Sennett, 1914] / Laughing Gas [Chaplin, 1914] / The Property Man [Chaplin, 1914] / The Face on the Barroom Floor [Chaplin, 1914] / Recreation [Chaplin, 1914] / The Masquerader [Chaplin, 1914] / His New Profession [Chaplin, 1914] / The Rounders [Chaplin and Arbuckle, 1914] / The New Janitor [Chaplin, 1914] / Those Love Pangs [Chaplin, 1914] / Dough and Dynamite [Chaplin, 1914] / Gentlemen of Nerve [Chaplin, 1914] / His Musical Career [Chaplin, 1914] / His Trysting Places [Chaplin, 1914] / Getting Acquainted [Chaplin, 1914] / His Prehistoric Past [Sennett, 1914] / Tillie's Punctured Romance [Sennett, 1914]


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