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The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion Hardcover – 1 Jan 2009
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Anyone who cares about Charlie Chaplin should dive into this excellent book. Kamin is both passionate and articulate, and offers thoughtful new interpretations of his work. Leonard Maltin Dan Kamin's The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin is indispensable. Its detailed, penetrating analysis of the how and why of Chaplin's body language reveals the craft behind the art of the greatest clown of them all. -- Scott Eyman, book editor of The Palm Beach Post, co-author of Robert Wagner?s Pieces of My Heart: A Life Kamin has devoted his life to understanding and internalizing physical comedy in general and Chaplin in particular, and it shows. His grasp of Chaplin is peerless, and he is also skilled with words. -- James M. Welsh The Journal Of American Culture Dan's insights are amazing. He's probably the foremost authority on Chaplin...there was really no scene [in Chaplin] that he didn't help me with. -- Robert Downey Jr. Kamin has deciphered the magic that was Chaplin--the poetry and eloquence of the movement ...There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books and other materials concerning the life and films of Chaplin. Kamin takes a new approach...Excellent. Library Journal Dan Kamin's new book, The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion, is something different altogether. It is an examination of Chaplin's art, focusing on what made his films so compelling to audiences of the time and what continues to make his work captivating to new generations experiencing his silent films in the modern era. The author is uniquely qualified to analyze and break down Chaplin's body movements, as Dan Kamin is a professional comedian and mime...The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin will also be of great interest to soused cinema enthusiasts, because Mr. Kamin delves deeper than previous authors into Chaplin's soused slapstick. Fans of "booze movies" and lovers of film comedy should consider Dan Kamin's book an essential read. It receives my highest recommendation. -- www.boozemovies.com Soused Cinema Library Blog The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion, is no mere book. It's an autopsy. [Kamin] slices and dices the Tramp, picks his brain, looks into his heart and performs the most conclusive examination yet into why this guy, who would've been 120 had he not expired on Christmas Day 1977, is still so funny...Kamin is the go-to guy for all things Chaplin and slapstick - the man who trained Robert Downey Jr. for his Oscar-nominated starring role in Chaplin in 1992. He then created Johnny Depp's physical comedy sequences for Benny and Joon in 1993. Depp was nominated for a Golden Globe...if anybody has unlocked the secrets of physical comedy, it's Kamin, who even created the Martian movement for Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! Springfield News-Sun A well-known Chaplin aficionado and authority, Kamin is also-unlike almost everyone else who writes about him-a talented performer who has studied and absorbed the physicality of the Great Man. (You can see samples of him at work on YouTube.) He helped develop Johnny Depp's pantomime routines for Benny & Joon, and even coached Robert Downey, Jr. on how to walk like Charlie for his performance in Chaplin. This profusely illustrated book expands upon and supersedes his earlier work, Charlie Chaplin's One-Man Show, and attempts to analyze the nature, and genius, of Chaplin's work. Yet Kamin writes clearly and sensibly: "Isolating scenes makes it easy to see how Chaplin uses the various elements of dance-or, more accurately, the laws of Newtonian physics along with some of the aesthetic principles of dance movement-to conjure comedy from the mundane actions of everyday life. Of course, viewers don't have to recognize the sophisticated underpinnings of his physical comedy to appreciate it, which makes his achievement all the more impressive. Chaplin's highly stylized movement comes to seem so natural that we stop noticing it is stylized. Instead, like a good movie soundtrack, it becomes unobtrusive. Yet dance-in this larger sense-is central to the meaning of Chaplin's films, helping him to define his character and strongly affecting what subject matter he is drawn to. It intertwines with the films' content." Leonard Maltin's Movie Fan
About the Author
Dan Kamin performs comedy shows worldwide and is a frequent guest artist with symphony orchestras. He created the physical comedy sequences for the films Chaplin and Benny and Joon, and trained Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Depp for their acclaimed performances. He also provided a commentary track for the upcoming Criterion DVD/Blu-Ray release of Chaplin's The Great Dictator.
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