Work and Play: Three Charlie Chaplin Shorts

Film - Series | March 16 | 3 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

These three shorts find Charlie Chaplin’s character at work and at play, often exasperated and hardly innocent. In Sunnyside, Charlie the handyman greets a Sunday morning in the eponymous village with little enthusiasm, and who can blame him? This is the kind of place where the hotel floor needs mowing and there are cows in church and goats in the piano. Chaplin mocks both rural life and the predictability of movie plots, with intertitles like “And now, the romance” and “Enter the City Chap.” Our hero rocks the boat in A Day’s Pleasure, an anecdote about a family outing marred by rough seas, traffic, and a very sticky pool of tar. In Pay Day, Chaplin the construction worker celebrates the payout in traditional fashion, at the bar. Here, as often in his early films, Chaplin’s character accidentally gets the better of others—kind of.

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