Thursday, June 12, 2014

Smile, what's the use of crying?

"Charlie Chaplin - Nothing quite like it. The feeling of film.”  
- Chaplin, 1992

I have written and unwritten this text a thousand times before I posted it. I believe that every time we write about one of our favorite things, the text never seems perfect and all the words in the world never seem to be enough to describe the subject. Since movies are one of my favorite things, you can imagine how difficult it was for me to write the text about “Atonement”, with my favorite actress.

This one was definitely much more difficult. Besides the fact the movie of this text is in my top five and it is with my favorite actor, “Chaplin”, from 1992,  is the biography of one of the most talented, intelligent and influent man of the last century.

If you ask anyone about Charlie Chaplin, you’ll surely hear something about his silent black and white movies, Modern Times, The Great Dictator and his most famous character, the Tramp.

But there’s far more beyond the British actor who became famous in America. Chaplin once said: “If you want to understand me, watch my movies.”

The thing is, it only takes us a few minutes of watching his biography to realize how difficult his childhood was: no money, no father and an ill mother. Nevertheless, we see he lived every second of his life to the fullest, fell in and out of love many times, said what he thought, made the movies the way he wanted  and kept silent and black and white, even though no one else did that anymore until FBI exiled him.

“Life is a play that does not allow testing. So, sing, cry, dance, laugh and live intensely, before the curtain closes and the piece ends with no applause.”

Sadly, Chaplin was only gained recognition with an Oscar in 1972, 20 years after his exile and four years before he died.

For me, his one masterpiece isn’t a movie, but a composition for “Modern Times”, called “Smile”, from 1936.  After all, he always made (and still makes) his public smile, one way or another.

Smile, though your heart is aching 
Smile, even though it's breaking 
When there are clouds in the sky 
You'll get by...  
If you smile 
With your fear and sorrow 
Smile and maybe tomorrow 
You'll see the sun come shining through, for you 
 Light up your face with gladness 
Hide every trace of sadness 
Although a tear may be ever so near 
That's the time you must keep on trying 
Smile, what's the use of crying? 
You'll find that life is still worthwhile 
If you'll just smile 
 That's the time you must keep on trying 
Smile, what's the use of crying? 
You'll find that life is still worthwhile 
If you'll just smile.

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