Ingmar Bergman and Charlie Chaplin

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November 10, 1964: Ingmar Bergman and Charlie Chaplin enjoy a long conversation about movies and other subjects in Chaplin’s room at the Stockholm Grand Hotel. Chaplin was in the Swedish capital in connection with the publication of his autobiography in Scandinavia.

Ingmar Bergman’s account of their meeting from The Magic Lantern:

“During the 1960s, Charlie Chaplin was on a visit to Stockholm to publicize his recent autobiography. Lasse Bergström, his publisher, asked me if I would like to meet the great man at the Grand Hotel, and indeed I would. One morning at ten o’clock, we knocked on the door, and it was immediately opened by Chaplin himself, impeccably dressed in a dark well-tailored suit, the Legion of Honour’s little button in his lapel. That hoarse multi-toned voice politely welcomed us, and his wife, Oona, and two young daughters, as lovely as gazelles, came out of the inner room.
We at once started talking about his book. I asked him when he had found out for the first time that he caused laughter, that people laughed at him in particular. He nodded eagerly and willingly told me.
He had been employed by Keystone in a group of artists who went under the name of the Keystone Kops. They did hazardous numbers before a static camera, like a variety show on a stage. One day they were told to chase a huge bearded villain who was made-up white. It was, you might say, a routine assignment. After a great deal of running and falling about, by the afternoon that had managed to catch the villain and he was seated on the ground surrounded by policemen hitting him on the head with their truncheons. Chaplin had the idea of not banging repeatedly with his truncheon as he had been told. Instead he made sure he was in a visible place in the circle. There he spent a long time carefully aiming his truncheon. He started on the penultimate blow several times, but always stopped at the last moment. When, gradually and after careful preparation, he let the blow fall, he missed and fell over. The film was shown at a Nickelodeon. He went to see the results.
The movie audience, seeing the blow miss its target, laughed for the first time at Charlie Chaplin.”

Jean-Luc Godard

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In the 1950s, cinema was as important as bread—but it isn’t the case any more. We thought cinema would assert itself as an instrument of knowledge, a microscope, a telescope…At the Cinémathèque, I discovered a world which nobody had spoken to me about. They’d told us about Goethe, but not Dreyer…We watched silent films in the era of talkies. We dreamed about film. We were like Christians in the catacombs.

Jean-Luc Godard

http://vimeo.com/31347453

Godardloop: Visual Motifs in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard

One for the cinephiles, a definite for Godard lovers, this multi-part video essay traces the numerous motifs that make up the films of Jean-Luc Godard, from his referencing of the other arts like literature and painting, to the creative act like writing, and representation and use of signs, revolvers, and automobiles. Wait for the 3:50 mark, when the cinematic ride begins…and most of all, enjoy the visual power of Godard!

Produced by Michael Baute and edited by Bettina Blickwede, this video explores a treasure trove of imagery found in dozens of Godard’s features and shorts, grouping them among several distinct themes. 47 films spanning 50 years of filmmaking are transformed into a stream of images that attest to an inimitable talent: an artist who can transform the world simply by the way he looks at it through his camera.