Charlie Chaplin's Mutual Shorts
Nobody does it like Charlie Chaplin. Perhaps the most iconic film star of all time, Chaplin pioneered aspects of acting, directing and writing that shaped the course of cinema history. This program, featuring several short films Chaplin made for Mutual Film Company between 1916-1917, show the rapid evolution of Chaplin’s style from no-holds-barred slapstick to a more nuanced storytelling.
Not So Silent Cinema is excited to present these classic films with new original scores composed by Brendan Cooney. “There is something quite devilish about Chaplin,” says Cooney. “Whether he’s the guest at a fancy ball, or a waiter in an up-scale restaurant, Chaplin’s narcissism quickly erodes any semblance of civility and sucks everyone involved into mayhem.” Cooney’s scores, clever deconstructions of classical and popular melodies, capture this descent into mayhem. Chopin’s “Minute Waltz” evolves into a boogie-woogie. A Gymnopedie by Erik Satie transforms itself into a swaggering blues. In addition to capturing the comedic contrasts of Chaplin’s films this compositional approach also captures the mood of the decade, a time when jazz was quickly permeating the musical soundscape of America.
These original scores are performed by The New River Ensemble featuring Martha Hyde on Clarinet, Lisa Liske-Doorandish on Cello and Brendan Cooney on piano.