Charlot;the art of communicating without words

Charlie Chaplin starts being Charlot at 25 years old. The image of the little man with the strange mustache, bowler hat and cane, is an icon of the 20th century. Even today it makes us laugh without saying a single word. After all, he is the genius of silent cinema.

On silent cinema screens, a clumsy and comical little man laughed out loud to crowds. It was the vagabond, the resistant marginal, who settle accounts with the powerful, made fun of dictators, transgressed at the same time that he was a tearful sentimentality in the corner of his eye, ready to fall in love and suffer for love. Like in real life.

Charlot did social comedy and laughed at himself tenderly. Strange mustache, ridiculous hat and cane, which he so often used as a weapon, were part of the character created by Charlie Chaplin  “I never thought of the tramp in terms of appeal. He was myself, a comical spirit, something that was inside me and that I had to express. I felt so free. ”

Charlie, born in London on April 16, 1889, inherited from his parents, both artists, the talent to step on the “music-hall” stages. The first time, I was five. He learned to sing, to dance, to make circus numbers, to play the violin and cello. Her childhood was marked by misery and the sadness of her father’s death, her mother’s illness, which prevented her from working and the experience of the orphanage. As a boy, he started to be the breadwinner of the house. After playing some roles, the cinema finally arrives in February 1914 with the mythical character of Charlot in the film “Kid Auto Races at Venice”. “I must admit that I started making cinema for money. Art came later, of course. ”

In the cinema, Charlie does everything. Imagine, write and film the stories, interpret, produce and compose the music that accompanies the scenes. “The City of Lights”, from 1931, is his first film entitled to a soundtrack. In 1918 he founded his own studios, United Artists and made feature films. From the extensive filmography, we highlight some universally known titles: “Lights in the Ribalta”, “Modern Times”, “The Golden Chimera”, “O Vagabundo” and “The Great Dictator”.

The report we show here, by journalist Inês Fonseca Santos, seeks to answer a question asked by the most famous character in silent cinema:  “how many of us know how to enjoy this universal grace that is silence?”

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