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Cinema According to Víctor Erice

Sunday, August 2, 2015
3:30 p.m. The Kid
Charles Chaplin (US, 1921)

Part of It’s a Wrap! celebrating our final weekend in the PFA Theater

Followed by a demonstration-workshop in the art of pantomime with Charlie Chaplin impersonator Damian Blake. Bring the whole family to learn how to walk like Chaplin!

With The Kid, Chaplin successfully established the fusion of slapstick and pathos that would serve him so well in years to come. He also found perhaps his ideal costar, six-year-old Jackie Coogan, capable of both brilliant comic mimicry and unaffected emotion. In a genuinely squalid slum, the Little Tramp stumbles upon an abandoned baby. After a few attempts to rid himself of this unexpected responsibility, he settles into his paternal role, instructing the child in the con game of survival—until the authorities arrive to break up their happy if dilapidated home. Chaplin’s own childhood experiences of poverty and abandonment come through in the film’s vividly imagined settings and its intensity of feeling.

—Juliet Clark

• Written by Chaplin. With Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Edna Purviance. (54 mins, Silent with music track, B&W, 35mm, From Janus Films/Criterion Collection)