The Atlas Performing Arts Center inaugurates its Silent Film Series for the 2016-17 season. So-called “silent” films – that is, films made without a recorded audio track, represent a distinctive blending of music and film, combining on-screen drama with live musical performance. In fact, silent films were never intended to be viewed in silence by audiences., but rather with the presence of music and sound to amplify and enhance the film, creating a more powerful total experience.
Atlas celebrates this cross-disciplinary genre by screening classic films from the silent era. Of all silent film stars, none is as bright as Charles Chaplin, the British-born actor and director who made his film career in the USA. 2016-17 marks the 100th anniversary of a series of twelve short comedies made for the Mutual Film Company.
The fall 2016 portion of the series conclude with a screening of Chaplin’s 1921 comedy-drama, THE KID. Jackie Coogan, child actor later to become best-known as Uncle Fester on THE ADDAMS FAMILY television show, plays a street waif taken in by Chaplin’s Tramp as an infant. Chaplin raises the boy as his own son until one day the authorities at the orphanage find out and try to separate this family. This is one of the most emotional, imaginative, and warm Chaplin comedies.