Modern Times (unrated) Charlie Chaplin. In his 1936 Modern Times, silent-film genius Charlie Chaplin reluctantly capitulated to sound film, a full seven years after the transition, but on his terms, mediating communication via machinery except in his closing, nonsensical song when audiences finally hear the Little Tramp's voice. Director, producer, writer, music composer, editor and star, Chaplin brilliantly indicts the inhuman environment he scathingly but hilariously lampoons. Inventive scenes include Charlie's assembly-line work, a feeding-machine experiment, a nervous breakdown and preference for jail over Depression-era hardships. Modern Times also finds eloquent comedy in a workers' parade that goes comically awry, involvement with the Gamin, (Paulette Goddard, Chaplin's real-life romance), department store excess and a prison break disrupted due to some "funny" powder. Chaplin's phenomenal acrobatic grace and the immensely appealing, energetic Goddard deserve this remastered 35-mm print. Screens at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday, February 27, and Saturday, February 28, and at 7 p.m. Sunday, February 29, in the Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)
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