Sunday, June 08, 2008

Monsieur Verdoux

There is a nice short article by Jim Hoberman in the new york times on Charlie Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux.

“Monsieur Verdoux” may once again be timely, but the audacity of its statement derives less from Chaplin’s antiwar polemic than from his antiheroic pose. No star ever took a greater risk with his public image or more directly challenged his audience. If Chaplin ridiculed Hitler by transforming him into the Little Tramp, he did something far more disturbing in socializing the Little Tramp. “By his very existence,” Bazin noted, Verdoux “renders society guilty.” Approaching eternity, the convicted killer subtly reverts to the Tramp’s distinctive gait. Has humanity sunk to this? In the movie’s ultimate gag it becomes apparent that, as Bazin wrote, “They’re going to guillotine Charlie!”

It is scheduled to be screened at film forum for one week. It is also available on Google video in a pretty good print.

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