Saturday, November 15, 2008

CITY LIGHTS

The CSO tonight gave a live performance of the score to Chaplin's masterpiece film, CITY LIGHTS. This is my favorite Chaplin film, perhaps because it is also his most sentimental. It's also a bit of an historical oddity. The film was released in 1931, years after the silent era had ended. Chaplin insisted that the sound film was a passing fad, and kept the tramp silent. The film has a soundtrack, but it was mostly music. Chaplin "composed" the music for the film, although he could not read or write music. He could play several instruments and dictated the score to an assistant.

The orchestra played quite well, but the projection screen was embarrassingly tiny and difficult to see. They really should have invested in a larger screen.
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