Film Discussion 25: Modern Times (1936)

We successfully made it through our first discussion of a silent film! It's a little ironic that we started with what some consider the final film of the silent era, but perhaps it only made it that much more accessible.

Josh and I discussed our experiences watching the film, how Chaplin approached the use of sound in the film (yes, silent film is a bit of a misnomer for this one), continued our discussion of man's relation to the machine and progress, and how to keep hope amidst terrible circumstances.

For those of you who missed out, this film is definitely worth a watch.

Show Notes

Saul Austerlitz on The Tramp's Final Bow on the Silver Screen

Overall, Chaplin seems to be drawing a connection between his awareness of the Tramp’s obsolescence—and, potentially, his own—and fears about the mechanization of modern life and its potential for crushing the common man, whom the Tramp has come to symbolize. His apprehensions are writ large in Modern Times, transmuted from a lone filmmaker to all of humanity: it is the machine that is mankind’s true opponent, deadening the senses and twisting flesh into steel.

Craig Barron and Ben Burtt on the Sound and Special Effects of Modern Times

Ben Model on the Music of Modern Times

Skip to 1:09:10 to get to the section on the film.

Ben Brandt

Ben is a front-end developer with a love for all things web. When he isn't coding for his 8-to-5, he's usually running, watching movies, or playing with new web frameworks and languages.

Portland, OR

Subscribe to Ben Brandt

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox.

or subscribe via RSS with Feedly!