After ten years of sailing, I have found myself smitten with some weird disease, symptom of which is a permanent Vertigo - something from inflated ear infection, probably - being unable to work and locked up in my windowless cabin, I spent three drugged days being completely dizzy from seasickness pills doctor insisted would help my condition: they didn't, but I slept non-stop. When I finally woke up from my stupor, I read Bill Bryson and browsed my movie collection - strangely, nothing appealed to me because I kind of forgot about movies completely and found them childish. One thing that seemed fairly appropriate for someone who can't hear very well and should not use headphones were silent movies.
This is where I decided to have a look at Charlie Chaplin and his famous "Modern times" - we are all familiar with scenes in a factory but honestly there is much, much more happening later and it truly surprised me that film turns into a such epic saga. Another example of things I just assumed I know. It charmed me instantly, of course, because Chaplin was a true genius and magician - his creation, "Little Tramp" is easily understood to anybody no matter what background and we love him dearly, for all his sweetness, clumsiness and old heart. This story apparently happens in Metropolis-like factory where work, machines and buttons are parodied mercilessly until we (audience) roar with laughter - I was honestly surprised that something filmed almost a century ago was still so fresh and funny. Basically, everything after the first start on the fast track was new to me and I laughed and laughed, until I found myself rewinding scenes and enjoying them again. What a genius!
Once Little Tramp looses his job - there is a whole unspoken atmosphere of unfairness, poverty and depression around - he quickly ends up in a prison, from which he doesn't even want to leave. However, he gets Cocaine in his salt, (Charlie Chaplin on a Coke!), saves policemen from escaped criminals, meets minister's wife (very funny scene) and gets release from the prison, with job recommendation letter. And this is still just a beginning of the movie! There is much, much more coming up later - it really goes on forever but its wonderful, heart-warming and joyous to watch. I almost forgot everything about myself and my whereabouts while I was so deeply lost in this masterpiece. Film is so immensely rich with characters, stories, little details and magic that I honestly think its one of the best things I have ever seen.