Monday, October 8, 2012

Dan Kamin on Why Chaplin Matters

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No one, not even David Robinson, knows Chaplin as well as Dan Kamin. Dan knows him inside-out, knows him as only another physical comedian could know him. A Pittsburgh-based solo performer with a lifetime devoted to the study of silent film comedians, Dan coached both Robert Downey for the film Chaplin and Rob McClure for the current Broadway show, Chaplin: the Musical, as well as Johnny Depp for his similar character in Benny and Joon.

Dan is also quite a writer, most notably the author of The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion. Now with Chaplin: the Musical running on Broadway, Dan has favored us with another article, "Why Chaplin Matters," written for his hometown Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In it he tackles the century-long ebb and flow of Chaplin's popularity, concluding that "Charlie Chaplin speaks the primal language of movement, and he speaks it better than anyone else in the history of motion pictures. He creates a swirling comic world and fills it with magical surprises and choreographic comedy that are a wonder to behold. He establishes an intimate rapport with his audience, and through his physical eloquence he demonstrates, with bracing clarity, how deeply we can understand what goes through another person's head, and his heart. That's why his films still retain the power to mesmerize an audience today, just as they mesmerized audiences the world over in 1914."

You can read the whole article here.

You can visit Dan's web site here.

Thanks to Karen Flaherty for the link.

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