The first point is February of 1914. That's when Charlie Chaplin stepped in front of a camera in Venice, California, not long after Mack Sennett called the young Englishman to Los Angeles to try out his talent in the new medium called "movies." The name of the film was "Kid Auto Races in Venice." In that short film, Charlie appears as a character that would soon, with modifications, become famous around the world as The Little Tramp. Or, as Chaplin preferred to call him, The Little Fellow.
The second point is June of 1960. Just out of the army (ours), I lived in San Francisco and began to frequent a bar/restaurant on the waterfront in Sausalito, just across the Golden Gate Bridge. I went there on Tuesday nights, when they showed Chaplin shorts on a worn screen. The prints were scratchy, jumpy, pieces missing, often faded. They were silent; no accompanying musical tracks. With all its faults, I was mesmerized by the unique character and his antics - and imagination. At the still impressionable age of 25 I had discovered The Little Tramp.
|With Joe Delmore and a|
genuine Chaplin derby and cane.
|Most of the group. That's Lisa Haven in the|
front row, 5th from the right.
It all comes together in Bologna,
beginning June 25th and continuing until the 28th.
The line-up for this 100th anniversary of the first appearance of The Little Tramp is too lengthy for this blog. Here's a link to information for the event. Birth of The Tramp Celebration
I'll tell you how I feel about this celebration. It's like going to an All-Star game and getting to meet Mantle, Dimaggio, Williams, Musial and Ruth. Sorry about the sports analogy, but it'll give you an idea of the stature of these people.
Thanks to all the dedicated people involved in putting this event together, beginning with Kate Guyonvarch, director of Roy Export S.A.S (Archives) in Paris, and Cecilia Cenciarelli and the Cinetecca Bologna.
The Little Tramp is bigger than ever.