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Recreating a score from the silent era, even when working with the archive of someone who never threw anything away, presents unique challenges. As Timothy Brock, the Musical Director for the Chaplin Famiiy estate, explained when I spoke to him on January 8, 2013. To talk with Brock is to get a lively lesson on the history of music composed for the silent film, salted with trivia and insights into and about Chaplin and his work. And not just the musical side of his genius. There is something about recreating Chaplin’s thinking about music that gives Brock an unique insight in the man’s creative impulse, the which we discussed along with Anita Monga, Artistic Director of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival a few days before that Festival’s tribute to 100 years of The Little Tramp, which coincided with the first time The Little Tramp was filmed (for a short called KID RACES IN VENICE). It also sparked an interesting discussion about the tug between art and commerce as Chaplin surrendered to the sound era and tried to bring his silent classics into it. Monga, a walking encyclopedia of film history and the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, discussed the fine line between comedy and pathos that is the hallmark of Chaplin’s comedy, as well as his unique brand of physical comedy.
For more information about The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, including their 2014 festival dates and films, please visit http://www.silentfilm.org.
Click on the link to listen to the interview (19:41) Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp Turns 100 — Anita Monga and Timothy Brock Interview.