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MODERN TIMES in Dortmund

09.April.2018

Theater Dortmund, 7 p.m.

Performed by the Dortmunder Philharmoniker under the baton of Motonori Kobayashi.

Charlie Chaplin is in glorious form in this legendary satire of the mechanized world. (…) The pantomime is triumphant, but Chaplin also draws a lively relationship between the Tramp and a street gamine. She's played by Paulette Goddard, then Chaplin's wife and probably his best leading lady (here and in The Great Dictator). The film's theme gave the increasingly ambitious writer-director a chance to speak out about social issues, as well as indulging in the bittersweet quality of pathos that critics were already calling 'Chaplinesque.' In 1936, Chaplin was still holding out against spoken dialogue in films, but he did use a synchronized soundtrack of sound effects and his own music, a score that includes one of his most famous melodies, 'Smile.' And late in the film, Chaplin actually does speak--albeit in a garbled gibberish song, a rebuke to MODERN TIMES in talking pictures. (Robert Horton – amazon.com)

Music: “The score to Modern Times is the most strong, complex, and innovative score in his entire opus. It is a vast palette of musical intricacies and bold symphonic statements that mirror not only the film’s content, but musically symbolize its message. His factory sequences musically represent the kinetic chaos in precision-demanded passages that reflect the impossibility of the worker’s task. The societal plight of the depression is scored with a certain blend of angst and pathos, and yet he provides the youthful spirit of the Gamin in a mischievous and sprightly setting. Even the café dance numbers are full of life and so eminently well written that it is obvious to us that the musical Chaplin, above all else, knew what he was doing.” (Timothy Brook)

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