Charlie Chaplin, Director

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Charlie Chaplin was one of the cinema's consummate comic performers, yet he has long been criticized as a lackluster film director. In this groundbreaking work--the first to analyze Chaplin's directorial style--Donna Kornhaber radically recasts his status as a filmmaker. Spanning Chaplin's career, Kornhaber discovers a sophisticated Chaplinesque visual style that draws from early cinema and slapstick and stands markedly apart from later, classical stylistic conventions. His is a manner of filmmaking that values space over time and simultaneity over sequence, crafting narrative and meaning through careful arrangement within the frame rather than cuts between frames. Opening up aesthetic possibilities beyond the typical boundaries of the classical Hollywood film, Chaplin's filmmaking would profoundly influence directors from Fellini to Truffaut. To view Chaplin seriously as a director is to re-understand him as an artist and to reconsider the nature and breadth of his legacy.