Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Centennial of A Kid 

Wednesday, Jan 1 2014
Comments

It's tempting to think that movies from a century ago aren't much to look at by today's standards — that, by now, all they really can do for us is immortalize a whole artform's cringe-worthy juvenilia. We forget that the first evolutionary leaps toward modern movie sophistication are right there in the record, too, and what a rush it can be to revisit them. We forget how big a deal it was, for instance, when Charlie Chaplin introduced poignancy into movie comedy. Admittedly, it might seem like a schmaltz alert when Chaplin's 1921 feature debut, The Kid, introduces itself via title card as "a picture with a smile — and perhaps, a tear." But the movie that follows, in which his iconic Little Tramp bumbles into becoming an adoptive father, is a small marvel of narrative nuance. Within the context of The Little Tramp at 100: A Charlie Chaplin Centennial Celebration (which includes four other films, and a Chaplin look-alike contest at 4 p.m.), The Kid in particular also sheds light on why Chaplin's signature character was iconic to begin with: for deriving humor and sadness from a single human source. Even a century later, this emergence of a modern cinematic storyteller still is a sight to see.


Sat., Jan. 11, 1 p.m., 2014

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

Bio:
SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

Related Locations

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • SuperHero Street Fair 2014

    From Batman to Superman to steampunk, people dressed up as their favorite superhero — or villain — for the annual SuperHero Street Fair held along Isails Creek, at the end of Indiana Street, on Saturday, Sept. 27. There was food, drinks, and lots of EDM music to dance to — check out all our photos form the event. Photography by Christopher Victorio.

  • @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz Exhibit
    Nathaniel Y. Downes brings back photographs from exhibit @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. @Large runs through April 26, 2015.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular