Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin

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9781595800145: Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin
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Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin is the long-awaited follow-up to John Bengtson’s critically acclaimed masterpiece Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton.

In Silent Traces, Bengtson explores the traces of early Hollywood hidden within Charlie Chaplin’s timeless films. This stunning work of cinematic archeology combines Chaplin’s movie images with archival photographs, vintage maps, and scores of then-and-now comparison photographs to conjure up the silent-movie era from an entirely new perspective.

By describing the historical settings found in such Chaplin classics as The Kid, City Lights, and Modern Times, Bengtson illuminates both Chaplin’s genius and the evolving city that served as a backdrop for his art. Part time machine, part detective story, Silent Traces presents a unique look at Chaplin’s work, and a captivating glimpse into Hollywood’s most romantic era.

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From the Back Cover:

"John Bengtson uses the films of Charlie Chaplin to perform effortless miracles of observation and detection. He widens our cultural horizons and treats us to a most entertaining education in cinema and California history." -Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"What a debt we owe him! ... Had it not been for John Bengtson's heroic researches, virtually all traces of the silent era would likely have been erased. Silent Traces is a marvelous sequel to his book on Buster Keaton." -Kevin Brownlow, director and film historian

"Silent Traces offers fascinating glimpses of Charlie Chaplin's Hollywood in relation to the Hollywood of today. If you think Chaplin's Hollywood has disappeared, John Bengtson will prove you wrong so entertainingly that you'll half expect the Little Tramp to show up in person to turn the pages." -Bob Mondello, National Public Radio

"John Bengtson has again produced a book that combines film history, social history, and a cultural study of Los Angeles. It's unique and fascinating." -Leonard Maltin, film critic and historian

About the Author:

John Bengtson is a business lawyer and film historian who discovered the magic of silent comedy at an early age. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin, Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton, and Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York Through the Films of Harold Lloyd. Bengtson has presented his work on Buster Keaton as keynote speaker at events hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive. He is a featured columnist of the Keaton Chronicle newsletter, and lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his two daughters.

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