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680 - City Lights


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#1 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:33 AM

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CITY LIGHTS
Charles Chaplin

United States • 1931 • 87 minutes • Black and White • 1.19:1 • English
 
The most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle. The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire. Though this Depression-era smash was made after the advent of sound, Chaplin remained steadfast in his love for the expressive beauty of the pre-talkie form. The result was the epitome of his art and the crowning achievement of silent comedy.

DISC FEATURES

  • New, restored 4K digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
  • Chaplin Today: “City Lights,” a 2003 documentary on the film’s production, featuring Aardman Animations cofounder Peter Lord
  • Chaplin Studios: Creative Freedom by Design, a new interview program featuring visual effects expert Craig Barron
  • Archival footage from the production of City Lights, including film from the set, with audio commentary by Chaplin historian Hooman Mehran; a costume test; a rehearsal; and a complete scene not used in the film
  • Excerpt from Chaplin’s short film The Champion (1915), along with footage of the director with boxing stars at Chaplin Studios in 1918
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Gary Giddins and a 1966 interview with Chaplin


#2 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:33 AM

NOTES:

#3 clydefro

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:15 PM

I hate to be the one to complain but Criterion here is releasing one of the acknowledged great films in the history of cinema and there seems to be very little effort going into it. There's a new audio commentary, a general video piece on Chaplin Studios, an essay and some borderline bad cover art. 

 

City Lights is such a fantastic, emotional and transcendent work that is probably the best introduction to one of the finest, most celebrated artists to ever work in the medium. This is the best Criterion can do? I feel like there should be something challenging here, something to grasp the impact of the picture and celebrate its greatness. I really do dislike speaking up just after announcement but I'm sorely disappointed in the lack of apparent passion to be releasing this. 



#4 cfkane

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:45 PM

I think there should have been more here too. Not sure exactly what, but something.


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#5 Moe Dickstein

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:48 PM

More here than there was for Verdoux....
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#6 clydefro

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:31 PM

More here than there was for Verdoux....

 

As much as I love that film, there's really no comparison in terms of influence and impact. City Lights is a pinnacle. The AFI put it at #11 in its most recent 100 years...100 films list and #1 on the romantic comedies one. 



#7 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:04 PM

I hate to be the one to complain but Criterion here is releasing one of the acknowledged great films in the history of cinema and there seems to be very little effort going into it. There's a new audio commentary, a general video piece on Chaplin Studios, an essay and some borderline bad cover art. 

 

City Lights is such a fantastic, emotional and transcendent work that is probably the best introduction to one of the finest, most celebrated artists to ever work in the medium. This is the best Criterion can do? I feel like there should be something challenging here, something to grasp the impact of the picture and celebrate its greatness. I really do dislike speaking up just after announcement but I'm sorely disappointed in the lack of apparent passion to be releasing this. 

 

I agree with you on this.  I was expecting more new features as well.  I'm happy about the commentary and I will listen to it (and I do not listen to many commentaries) but I thought they could have added the whole The Champion short and not just an excerpt (shorts are always appreciated and a few could have been added of Chaplin's, yes I have seen all of them, but still).  There are so many critics, directors and actors who are a fan of this. Another documentary could easily have been added or made.

 

This is my favorite Chaplin film and is his most recognized works of art.  I will be buying this though.


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