Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 11:30


Charles Chaplin
Introduced by

Kate Guyonvarch (Roy Export/Association Chaplin) and Cecilia Cenciarelli

Piano accompaniment by

Stephen Horne, drums accompaniment by Frank Bockius


Monday 27/06/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Between 1922 and 1925, Dziga Vertov created the newsreel Kino-Pravda, which literally translates as ‘film-truth’, but is primarily a reference to Lenin’s daily newspaper “Pravda”. A screen newspaper or a cinema daily was exactly what Vertov had in mind. Yet, a total of 23 issues appeared irregularly and were not widely distributed. Vertov did take the production of Kino-Pravda seriously and used it to develop his ideas on film and film language. The first issues were still similar to previous newsreels in structure and style, but throughout the later issues, Kino-Pravda begins to show experimentation and the development of another idiom in the use of existing footage, composition and rhythm, as well as the constructivist design of the intertitles. Issue No.7, of which only a fragment has survived, does not yet exhibit much of these tendencies. It covers a wide variety of topics, ranging from political subjects such as the trial of a socialist revolutionary, to the communal efforts of rebuilding the burned-down Siberian town of Taseevo and the leveling of the Khodynka airfield, as well as images of summer recreation at the seaside in Tuapse and views of foreign places and cultures such as the marketplace and the mosque of Kabul. Twenty-two of the 23 issues of Kino-Pravda have been preserved – some only as fragments – and are accessible online through

Janneke van Dalen


Cast and Credits

F. : Vasilij Bystrov. M.: Elizaveta Svilova. Prod.: VFKO. 35mm. L.: 236 m. 18 f/s. Bn


Film Notes

Perhaps this ballet divertissement framed by a chinoiserie is the only trace left of a film en rélief production announced with so much fanfare and national (French) pride. The Parolini procedure did not result in a 3D film, but seems – if one reads the description in “Cinémiroir” of 28 July 1922 correctly – to have been a stage device based on semi-transparent screens and lightning. Stéphane Passet, the director of Rêve d’opium, worked since 1912 for Albert Kahn’s Archives de la Planète and went on missions all over the world; from two trips to China he brought back over seven hundred autochromes. The chinoiserie is therefore not by chance. After the war, he left Archives de la Planète for 10 years. During this period he made at least two 3D fiction films: La Belle au bois dormant (using the Parolini method) and La Damnation de Faust (using his own method). He remained in contact with Jean Brunhes, scientific director of Archives de la Planète.

Mariann Lewinsky


Cast and Credits

Coreografia: Jeanne Chasles. Int.: Mlle. Roselly, M. Tien-Tchong. Prod.: Société des Cinématographes Azur (“Film en couleur et en rélief, procédé stéréo Parolini”). 35mm. L.: 298 m. 18 f/s. Col. (da una copia nitrato imbibita / from a tinted nitrate print).


Film Notes

Laogong zhi aiqing is very much a product of the urban culture and of a confluence of discourses and practices of shadowplay in Shanghai. Before they established Mingxing Company in 1921,

the creators of the film, Zhang Shichuan and Zheng Zhengqiu, had collaborated eight years earlier to make some Chinese films for the Asia Company. The early 1920s saw an unprecedented cinema craze in China. After a stock market crash, many speculators turned to investing into the nascent film industry … It was in this sizzling ambiance that Zhang and Zheng began their second collaborative venture. From the very start, they also established the Mingxing Shadowplay School to train professional actors and actresses.

The narrative trajectory of Laogong zhi aiqing is clear, but the film is less concerned with the internal psychology of the characters than with their actions, which often amounts to a show that disrupts any incipient diegetic absorption

… The story is in fact a frivolous commentary on the question of social mobility, implicitly mocking the feudal and patriarchal codes regulating marriage and family.

Zhang Zhen, An Amorous History of the Silver Screen, Shanghai Cinema 1896-1937, University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2005

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Shichuan Zhang. F.: Weitao Zhang. Int.: Zhegu Zheng (Cheng), Ying Yu (miss Zhu), Zhengqiu Zheng (dottor Zhu). Prod.: Mingxing Film Company. DCP. Bn


Film Notes

This portrait of a building site is precisely defined, starting with its title: it depicts pay day, and its rituals for the labourers on site. But its real focus is on the lengths to which they will go to drink away every last dollar.

Pay Day was Chaplin’s final two-reeler and is the satirical epitome of two phenomena: work and leisure. With self-evident symmetry, each phenomenon takes up half of the film and receives equal analysis. At work the foreman is in charge, but at home the one calling the shots is his Amazonian wife, Phyllis Allen, who turns his home life into the worst of all possible worlds. Work is by turns a merry-go-round of violence, tomfoolery, scams and other forms of social ‘cohesion’. Power relations are just as unbalanced during the lunchbreak as they are when it’s time to collect the wages.

The passage from work to freedom is marked by a simple cut, with a dollar symbol functioning as intertitle – a most cynical explanation. And then the only place to go is the sole oasis in a desert of tedium: the local watering hole.

All the gags are brilliant. For example, in order to avoid his wife’s anger, Chaplin climbs into the bath fully clothed in the hope of getting some sleep but, when his wife enters the room, he starts soaping himself as if it is the most ordinary thing in the world. The site labourers engage in a variety of capers but always end up getting into scrapes – exactly as in their workplace. The journey home is a veritable assault on the last tram, already overloaded with drunks; Chaplin grabs onto the trousers of one unfortunate companion and naturally they rip…

As the film ends it is the next morning and Chaplin must face the Amazon who awaits him at home. The closeup of the final sequence has all the comic effect of an early 20th-century English farce. However, the big difference from such farces, or indeed the Keystone comedies, is that now the gags come from a wide variety of directions and thus acquire mysterious depth. The same can be said of the presence and essence of Chaplin himself – thanks to which the film, despite all the chaos that animates it, constitutes a powerful depiction of loneliness.

Peter von Bagh, Chaplin, Edizioni Cineteca di Bologna, Bologna 2021


Cast and Credits

Scen.: Charles Chaplin. F.: Roland Totheroh. Scgf.: Charles D. Hall. Int.: Charles Chaplin (operaio), Phyllis Allen (sua moglie), Mack Swain (sovrintendente), Edna Purviance (la figlia del sovrintendente), Sydney Chaplin (compagno di Charlot / proprietario rivendita dei panini), Albert Austin, John Rand, Loyal Underwood (operai). Prod.: Charles Chaplin per First National. DCP. Bn