City Lights

Direct by Charlie Chaplin

1931

City Lights, which bills itself as “A Comedy Romance in Pantomime” in its opening credits, is Chaplin’s second to last silent film. Expertly choreographed, incredibly funny, sharp, incisive, and surprisingly delicate at times, City Lights easily transcends the usual limitations of the genre.

Would see.

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2 thoughts on “City Lights

  1. What would you say are the usual limitation of the genre? Does this refer to silent film, or to romantic comedy? Are there moments from the movie that stood out as particularly unexpected or artistic from a silent film? How do you think the movie would improve or worsen if it were to have sound?

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  2. Most silent movies seem like they would improve with dialogue. Many, made before movies could have dialogue, probably would. “City Lights” has an impressive attention to choreography and timing. Every movement is precisely framed and executed. The film’s visual symbolism and loose tether to realism would be possible with sound, but the viewer would pay less attention to the imagery and be more distracted by the carefree attitude to plausibility.

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