Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp is celebrating his 100th birthday.
The endearing character, one of the most famous cinema icons dating back to the silent era, was born in the 1914 short comedy ‘Kid Auto Races at Venice’.
To mark this anniversary, a restored and digitised version of the film along with the Chaplin masterpiece ‘Gold Rush’ are out in a number of cinema theatres across Italy, where they were restored by the Bologna Cinematheque.
“In this film, he’s not yet become the endearing tramp who pulls at our heart strings. Here, he’s more of a problem for the camera, a problem for cinema,” says Gianluca Farinelli, director of the Bologna Cinematheque.
The entire Charlie Chaplin archive is kept at the Bologna Cinematheque Foundation, which has classified and digitised all of his movies as part of the ‘Chaplin Project’.
Marianna De Sanctis is head of l’Immagine Ritrovata, the laboratory in charge or remastering the Chaplin movies.
“This film is highly flammable because it suffers from dryness, so we have put it in a closed environment with moisturising liquid. We check it every day, and when the liquid evaporates we replace it,” she says.
‘The Gold Rush’, which dates back to 1925, is one of Chaplin’s most famous movies.
Its release by the Bologna Cinematheque marks the start of a number of events celebrating a hundred years since the Tramp first appeared on screen.
The Cinematheque also recently launched ‘Footlights’, the only known novella by the famed actor and director, which inspired his masterpiece ‘Limelight’, widely considered his last great movie.