Friday, 13 February 2015

Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)

I have some time to kill but don't want to wake up the lovely Mrs Llamastrangler, who is now several days past her due date and fast asleep. So I watched a short Charlie Chaplin film to fill in some of my time during the interminable wait for fatherhood. I was hoping that it would cheer me up a bit as today has been spent digesting some very sad news.

Anyway... this is the first ever film to feature Chaplin's "Tramp" character. I'm vaguely familiar with Chaplin, but mainly because of Paul Merton's splendid television evangelising. I'm well aware of how the humour hasn't dated, but the racing cars certainly have- they look so flimsy, like old-fashioned prams. And the whole set-up looks incredibly dangerous for both participants and spectators. It's Health and Safety gone mad. 

What really surprised was, well, is that it? I've enjoyed Charlie Chaplin films in the past, but this one consists of not a lot more than the Tramp annoying people by getting in the way. That's it. I'd expected a lot more. I know it's a short, but I've seen plenty of funny ones. I suspect the problem lies in the fact that this is an early short from the Keystone Cops crowd.

Still, there are plenty of other silent comedies out there...

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