Monday, November 2, 2015

New Book: Charlie Chaplin Archive - wow wow wow

The other day, I received my copy (#105) of The Charlie Chaplin Archives. My first response was "Wow." I knew this book was big, but I hadn't not realized how BIG! "Wow." The book is nearly 18 inches wide and 3 inches thick. It weighs more than 15 pounds, and comes in its own box with carry handle. "Wow." I'm impressed, and think this is the book of the year for film buffs!

"The most un-put-downable movie book of the season is also the most un-pick-uppable one… It’s an apt tribute to the filmmaker, whose artistry transcends the cinema and spans world-historical dimensions… a revelation of Chaplin’s creative process, even to the furious core of energy, passion, lust, and sheer will that fueled it…" —

According to the publisher, "With unrestricted access to the Chaplin archives, TASCHEN presents the ultimate book on the making of every one of his films. With 900 images, including stills, memos, storyboards and on-set photos, as well as interviews with Chaplin and his closest collaborators, it reveals the process behind the Chaplin genius, from the impromptu invention of early shots to the meticulous retakes and reworking of scenes and gags in his classic movies: The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), and the provocative Hitler parody The Great Dictator (1940)."

Oh, and yes, Louise Brooks is mentioned in The Charlie Chaplin Archive. On page 279, editor Paul Duncan notes "The Gold Rush went on to gross over $4 million worldwide. Chaplin remained in New York for two months after the premiere. During this time he had an affair with Louise Brooks, a showgirl who would later have success as a movie actress."

The book includes:
  • The Chaplin life history in words and pictures
  • 900 images including many previously unseen stills, on-set photos, memos, documents, storyboards, posters, and designs, plus scripts and images for unmade films
  • An oral history, told from the point of view of Chaplin himself, drawing upon his extensive writings, many of which have never been reprinted before.
  • Supplementary interviews with some of his closest collaborators.
  • Material from over 150 books of press clippings in Chaplin's archives, which range from his early days in music halls to his death
  • Chaplin's short films, from Making a Living (1914) to The Pilgrim (1923), as well as all of his feature-length movies, from The Kid (1921) to A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)
  • The first print run of 10,000 copies includes a precious 12 frame strip from City Lights (1931), cut from a 35 mm print in Chaplin’s archives.

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