Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Kid’ comes to Brandon on Saturday

BRANDON — Silent film with live music returns to the Brandon Town Hall with a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s classic comedy/drama “The Kid”(1921) on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.
The special program, which also includes Chaplin short comedies, will be presented with live music by silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis.
The screening is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted to help support the town hall’s ongoing renovation and restoration. The screening is sponsored by Bill and Kathy Mathis in memory of Maxine Thurston.
The show is a chance for the whole family to get out to a fun event suitable for all ages.
Chaplin was already the world’s most popular comedian and filmmaker when he produced “The Kid,”his first feature-length project.
The movie, with its daring mix of intense drama and slapstick comedy, proved an instant sensation and marked one of the high points of Chaplin’s long career.
“The Kid”follows the story of a tramp (Chaplin) who attempts to raise an orphaned boy on his own. It includes several classic scenes, and is highlighted by a sequence in which Chaplin battles authorities attempting to return the child to an orphanage.
Co-starring with Chaplin in “The Kid” is five-year-old Jackie Coogan, who turned in what many critics rank as the best child performance of the entire silent film era. Chaplin himself worked closely with the young Coogan for more than a year to develop the youngster’s acting abilities.
Coogan went on to a long career that much later included the role of “Uncle Fester”in the popular 1960s Addams Family television show.
The Chaplin program continues the monthly series of silent films with live music at the Brandon Town Hall. The series provides local audiences the opportunity to experience silent film as it was intended to be shown: on the big screen, in restored prints, with live music and with an audience.
“If you can put pieces of the experience back together again, it’s surprising how these films snap back to life,”Rapsis said. “By showing the films under the right conditions, you can really get a sense of why people first fell in love with the movies.”
In creating music for silent films, Rapsis performs on a digital synthesizer that reproduces the texture of the full orchestra and creates a traditional “movie score”sound.
“The Kid” will be preceded by “A Dog’s Life” (1918), one of Chaplin’s earlier short comedies that helped establish his worldwide popularity.
Admission is free; free will donations are encouraged, with proceeds to support ongoing renovation of the town hall. For more information, visit www.brandontownhall.org. For more about the music, visit www.jeffrapsis.com.

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