The Importance of Chaplin
Our modern world is full of many forms of entertainment, whether that be our phones or even our televisions and although we have convenient access to both of these devices that provide us with media, there is a sort of magic that comes with a visit to a cinema or movie theatre. One man who knew how to foster this sort of magic was Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin had a long and difficult life, where he suffered many losses and hardships, and yet he still found a way to create a lasting impact on the world, not only that of film, long past his death.
Charlie Chaplin is someone that the world of film, if not the entire world will always remember. He had a way of creating a persona that presented him as someone that, in a way was relatable to the everyday person. His charisma was present even from a young age and even at such a young age, he had wanted to be an actor. He joined a Keystone motion picture, continuing on with his dream of being involved in film and created his most popular and well-known slapstick character, The Tramp, a comedic man who wears a suit, a man who has a short trimmed moustache as well as a hat. He was the equivalent of a well-dressed hobo of the time, someone who acts in a fanciful way despite their true nature. Because of the nature of silent movies, a lot of the plot and action that was conveyed in these motion pictures was actually displayed by the over the top and large physical displays of the character. Motions were exaggerated to portray the story more clearly towards the audience, who had no cues other than the music, what they could see on the screen and sometimes the occasional text.
Before Charlie Chaplin entered upon the scene of movie-making, movies were often just like plays that were performed on screen, usually in one single take and with only one single angle that could be viewed from. There was also the fact these movies were entirely silent as well and so the exaggerative actions and overreactions were all that the audience had to go off of when they were trying to understand the story. Once Chaplin became a part of movie-making, however, an increased number of camera angles began to be used to express the story and advance the plot forward, using different settings but also different angles of the same setting, which helps with the narrative flow. Even at a time when voices could be added over the film, Chaplin still made the films that he was a part of far more expressive. This cemented his firm and a powerful legacy in the history of filmmaking.
Chaplin has left an impressive legacy behind, as many through history have done. It is what we strive to do, are doing and continue to do moving forward that defines how we are seen by those of the future generations and perhaps even beyond that. It is important that we try and think about what it is that we want to be remembered for.