THE GREAT GOD PAN by Robert Payne


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Another examination, analysis and interpretation of the genius of Charlie Chaplin, this again ex-rays his pictures for the intimations of immortality that developed from his early Keystone comedies to Monsieur Verdoux. Here Charlie is divorced from Chaplin, the invention from the man, and exposition, on an artistic level, is backgrounded not only by the influences of Chaplin's life but also by tradition, in history, of the comic spirit, the inheritance from the great clowns and their projection of the desperate quality that is allied to comedy, which was dying in Europe, and the basis of American slapstick farce. Against this is portrayed the emergence of Charlie as an exponent of the human comedy, the direct descendant of Pan as he represents the spirit of licence and remorseless commentary and rebellion. The emergence of style is traced; the great passages are reviewed as they originate and are developed in later pictures; the daemonic moments are contrasted with the fantastic inventions and the undertones of tragedy. A high altitude inventory and yscrutiny of a unique, universal creation, this makes an interesting companion to The Little Fellow (P. 521) and Charlie Chaplin (P. 169).

Pub Date: April 7th, 1952
Publisher: Hermitage House