Double Anniversary of Chaplin and Keaton Celebrated with Japan Premier Restorations

2017/10/14 Report

This year marks 40 years since the passing of the great Charlie Chaplin, and 100 years since fellow giant of the silent era, Buster Keaton, was born. To mark both occasions, the Kyoto International Film and Arts Festival presented back-to-back Japan premiers of Digital 4K Restorations of one work by each auteur.

The event was held on Saturday morning at the Toho Cinemas Nijo with emcee Hiroyuki Oono. It began with a screening of Buster Keaton’s two-reel production ‘One Week’ (1920). His first independently made short of 25 minutes tells the story of a newly married couple trying to build their pre-fabricated house, with Keaton’s classic acrobatics on show as the construction falls apart.

The film was actually inspired by inspired by a Ford Motor Company documentary called Home Made from 1919. Keaton’s parody copied many elements of the original, including the device of a calendar to count down the time it takes to build the house, hence the title ‘One Week.’
During the screening live music was performed by Kimitaka Kogo.

Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid was released the following year and was a breakthrough movie for Chaplin, his first full feature and widely considered one of the greatest films of the silent era. Where Keaton was a master of physical comedy, Chaplin would reach his audience in other innovative ways, masterfully combining drama and comedy to stir his audience’s emotions.

Chaplin himself re-mastered the film in 1971, removing scenes he deemed overly sentimental, and adding a new musical score that he composed himself.

Both works have been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

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