Charlie, der Tramp, arbeitet in einer Fabrik am Fließband. Weil er mit dem unmenschlichen Arbeitstempo nicht mithalten kann, wird er entlassen. Auf der Straße gerät er in eine Demonstration und wird prompt als vermeintlicher Rädelsführer verhaftet. Als Charlie aus dem Gefängnis freikommt, trifft er ein Straßenmädchen und verliebt sich. Aber auch ihr droht das Zuchthaus, weil sie Brot gestohlen hat. (Verleiher-Text)


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Deutsch Er und sein sozialer Kommentar, oder Er und seine Ablehnung des Tonfilms. Jedenfalls werde ich die Parallele zu The World Belongs to Us nie vergessen, denn dieses Chaplin-Projekt mit den Augen von V+W zu sehen, nachdem sie ihr eigenes Spektakel über die Moderne beendet hatten, würde jeden deprimieren. ()


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Deutsch In Moderne Zeiten werden die bedauerlichen sozialen Probleme der damaligen Zeit aufgedeckt, die hier durch eine humorvolle Note, zahlreiche witzige Gags und Szenen mit dem legendären Charlie Chaplin abgemildert werden. Daher ist Moderne Zeiten nicht so lustig wie Circus, aber ich habe trotzdem viel gelacht - vor allem in der Szene mit dem Test der "Fütterungsmaschine" in der Fabrik. Kurzum, ein Film, in dem der Witz an anderen Stellen steckt als in den heutigen Komödien, der aber dennoch zu unterhalten weiß. ()



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Englisch Basically, every scene is an uncontrollable fit of laughter – something I don't remember from Zucker Brothers parodies, Mr.Bean or even from Jara Cimrman's theatre. Chaplin at his peak not only puts on an inimitable slapstick show, but also turns the story into an admirably effective and moving social critique. For me, one of the greatest classics in film history. 100% ()


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Englisch Until modern times, the Tramp belonged to viewers. Unlike Buster Keaton, he avoided longer-term commitments whenever possible. He flirted with girls, even cautiously kissed them at an unguarded moment, but he was not inclined toward family life, at least not outwardly. Several of his slapstick films characteristically ended with his lonely walk away from the camera, towards the next adventure, independent of the one just experienced. But Modern Times, Chaplin’s farewell to the Tramp and the Tramp’s farewell to viewers, ends with a shot of a couple contentedly walking together. The Tramp is leaving, but finally he is not alone; we don’t have to worry about his future. However, Modern Times was not only a farewell to the Tramp, but also to silent cinema and the genre of pure slapstick (because, among other things, of the lack of financial success – critics and viewers were becoming accustomed to films that were much richer in sound). Chaplin imaginatively uses sound effects for the first time to amplify either the dramatic (gunfire) or comedic effect (“feeding” the machine). He also lets the Tramp sing a few notes of French-Italian gibberish. In that scene and others, the protagonist is reminiscent of a malfunctioning machine, as he seeks different employment after being thrown out of the factory where he had served a clear purpose. Chaplin’s satirical portrait of predatory capitalist society turning man into a cog in a giant machine (I would guess that particularly this level of Chaplin’s work was inspired by Jacques Tati) resonated with the economic crisis of the time and, unlike other comedies, didn’t let viewers escape into a nicer world. Though unemployment, poverty, hunger and social unrest are framed in a humorous way, they are nevertheless visibly present. Thanks to the elevation of the mechanisation of human existence to the main subject of the film, Chaplain could exploit one of the main features of slapstick, whose gags often consist in people behaving like inanimate objects. At the same time, a weakness of Modern Times is that it is too closely related to previous films. Because of the alternation of the various occupations that Chaplin tries in his slapstick shorts, the plot breaks down into separate episodes, though these are directed with admirable economy. The film thus lacks dramatic cohesion and emotional impact. I will definitely return to Modern Times, not for a strong story, but for the gags with cocaine and the tightening of screws, and for Paulette Goddard’s irresistible gamine. 80% ()


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Englisch The personality of Charlie Chaplin does not represent an indisputable symbol of artistic mastery for me, as only a few of his films have appealed to me in the past, and even fewer interest me today. The ones that I think are worth watching again could easily be counted on one hand, but Modern Times is one of them. Along with The Gold Rush, it is the only film in which I accept his character as a tramp. In Modern Times, he tries to make his way through life and repeatedly tries to integrate himself into the life of a respectable citizen, but fails as a factory worker or a waiter. The girl with whom he eventually forms a relationship is similarly unconventional, so in the end, they both recognize that they do not fit into the modern era with its rules, orders, and obligations. They retreat and walk together toward their fate. Above all, the factory part of the tramp's story seems funny and cleverly filmed to me; the desire to maximize productivity leads to the absurd motif of a machine for feeding employees. The second highlight of the film is the scene in the bar where Chaplin's voice is heard for the first time in the form of a musical number accompanied by pantomimic clowning. Modern Times can be criticized, like other Chaplin films, for the outdated aesthetics of silent films from the first half of the 1920s. But in this case, I don't mind. I perceive his film as a social critique of the system during the economic crisis and at the same time a criticism of Fordist mass society based on the suppression of individuality. It is typical that the screening of Modern Times was immediately banned in Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy. Overall impression: 80%. ()

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