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writer...performer...sometime pop-up cinema host.

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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Loved Paul Merton's The Birth of Hollywood last night. Really rich piece of media history that is absolutely fascinating. I've always enjoyed reading about that period of Hollywood and how it grew, what happened then still has an effect on what we see today, and the after-effects of the mass immigration into America are still there for the eye to see.

Charlie Chaplin has been a hero of mine since I first read his autobiography. It was the Richard Attenborough film, starring Robert Downey Jr, that brought the work of Chaplin to my attention and since then I have watched his films on a regular basis. His genius was in the way he changed movie storytelling, more so I think than D. W. Griffith. His 'Tramp' character had that evergreen mix of child-like quality, charm and tragedy, it is still a character that would work today. My favourite film of his is City Lights, a really poetic piece of cinema that is lextremely funny and totally heartbreaking. Chaplin changed the style of film and opened doors for the likes of Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton to the studios. If it wasn't for him we may have been stuck with Mack Sennett's pantomimes for years.

A little thought that crossed my mind while thinking about Chaplin; his character of 'The Tramp' would make an excellent children's character. I wonder if it has been tried to turn 'The Tramp' into a novel. The brilliant film 'The Kid' could be an excellent start and I think to see 'The Tramp' again in a new work would be so cool.

Maybe it's not been done because it can't be done; maybe because no-one thinks it'd be worth it' or maybe because it has not been tried.

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