Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sunday night is... Maradona and Chaplin

Apropos of Anne's comment on the post below I thought it might be worth looking at Maradona's movement and see how it compares with the feints of the Bank of England, that is to say going straight down the middle when people expect you to shimmy left or right. So, here is Maradona. It is minimal movement but there is a slight feint one way then another and, strangely enough, the ball doesn't seem that close to his feet. Will the Bank of England do the same? Mervyn King as Maradona. Is it just the body feint they have in common?

And here is Chaplin, Charlot. He feints left, he feints right, but the gun is still pointing at him. Tell us about it, o glorious gold-rushing tramp.

It seems to me extraordinary that Chaplin's reputation has fallen so low that he is hardly mentioned. He is quite miraculous in both body and facial expression. Yes, he is sentimental at times, but that is such a tiny fault he is still an absolute shining great. And he meant so much to generations, to whom the disrespecful tramp was an emblem of defiance and hope in rough times.


Gwil W said...

"Chaplin's reputation has fallen"

Have never rated Chaplin as highly as Buster Keaton. Not in the same league.
Perhaps Chaplin was overrated to begin with?

Billy C. said...

Bravo, George. Comedy is a personal choice and PIR is turned on by anther great. My favourites from the distant past are Laurel and Hardy. But, there's only one player who has outshone all others and that is Maradona. The phrase: poetry in motion, was termed just for him.

As for his state of affairs nowadays: I feel no great sorrow. I save that for the more deserving...the mother or father who has lost a child. And that is not sour grapes for his 'hand of God'. I forgave him for that when he scored the second goal, which was one of the most beautiful of moments in a life time of being a football supporter.

Gwil W said...

Billy C,
isn't George's blog a wonderful place!
Apropos people's sense of humour can I recommend to you Stephen Brook's hilariously funny and informative book 'Honky Tonk Gelato'?
It's an everything you always wanted to know about the Lone Star State but were afraid to ask.

George S said...

Yes, it is a personal response. I too love Laurel and Hardy, Billy, and I also adore Buster Keaton. Add Harold Lloyd to the list, though maybe he is not quite a great as those three are.

It may be that the stone-faced Keaton approximates more nearly to our notion of our situation as seen by Samuel Beckett (and he is in a Samuel Beckett film!) than Chaplin does. I can't see Chaplin in Beckett.

Nevertheless, Chaplin is a giant in his period, albeit a period that may not seem very like ours. Chaplin is the immigrant who leads to the Marx Brothers on the one hand and Steven Spielberg on the other. He is historical. He overflows with pathos.

There is something quite unearthly about Keaton, and yet he retains pathos. He is oddly ahistorical. Sorry to get all pretentious about this but he seems almost a metaphysical figure to me.

Maybe pathos came too easily to Chaplin, but then that's history for you.

Billy C. said...

Hi Gwilym. Yes, George's 'place' is a good place. I enjoy his mischievious sense of humour at times, and I've fallen in love with the maid in Marai. Some of the clips he unearths are top class and most I save to my favourites. At this very moment, I'm listening to Christina Branco Fado: A Minha Casa - on repeat because it's so soothing and fullsome. It also whets my appetite for a plce dear to my heart, Portugal, where I will be in a couple of months time. My friends home (where I stay) is away from the tourists and amongst the real Portuguese people. Their neighbours are known by various nicknames: Mr Smiley, Mr Brown Horse, Mr Bottle Thrower etc. The latter because he lives next door and without asking, leaves his empty bottles over the fence for my friends to take to the lishu (sp) bins.

Much of George's blogging goes over my head so I'm always careful which bits I post on. I think he's a bit cleverer than me. Haha. Not always...I need to broaden his mind about the English class system from a working class perspective. :-) But the lad works hard. I've never known a bloke write so much! It must be a goulash thing.

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll follow that up.

Best regards.


Gwil W said...

Never been to Portugal. Once went to Gibraltar - a crowded quasi-cosmopolitan rock with disorderly apes and very expensive pubs serving disappointing beer and bland food. I love your Mr Bottle Thrower (his alter ego is on my blog - under "The Umbrella Man!").

"It must be a goulash thing" - well, I'll be there briefly today in the land of that spicy garlic laden delicious meat dish so I'll report back....
between flushes! ;-)

jeroenn said...

Thank you for your blog.
About Chaplin: there is a new novel out featuring the man, by Glen David Gold, 'Sunnyside':

Gold is also interviewed in a recent KCRW Bookworm:

Gwil W said...

Re the "goulash thing" it was unfortunately inedible. We had to send it back. The best thing in Hungary at the moment, it seems to me, apart from the wonderful weather and the pastel atmospheric and still timeless terraced and bungalowed gloriously flowered villages and hamlets of the Ferto National Park area, even got insulted by the local drunken gipsy on his way to the next fieldside homebrew cider stand, is the Soproni dark beer - very much like a bottled Guinness but a touch less bitter.
By the way George, I like very much your current front page poem!