Late Charlie Chaplin Classic “Limelight” Screened at Historic Hongan-ji
Hongan-ji temple, established in 1321, played host to a screening of Charlie Chaplin classic “Limelight” (1952) on Saturday 14 October, part of KIFF’s focus on silent movies.
Chaplin has been called the King of Comedy, and the world’s first great movie star, so much so that nearly 100 years after his career began, The Chaplin Society of Japan continues to promote his works, and its President Hiroyuki Ono explained the influence of Chaplin before the screening inside Nishi Hongan-ji temple.
The 3rd Kyoto International Film And Art Festival features four different programs of silent movies, the origin of modern cinema. 7 movies by the great Charlie Chaplin are being screened, from his early work “The Kid” (1921) through to “Limelight,” a work produced towards to end of Chaplin’s career that saw the actor play a washed-up comedian who saves a suicidal dancer from death at her own hands.
The film featured an appearance by Buster Keaton, and is considered a highly personal work for Chaplin, yet due to the Englishman’s VISA issues in the US at the time, went largely unnoticed in that country. It has since been re-evaluated as one of his finest films.
Nishi Hongan-ji made for a timeless setting for the film. The largest of the Jodo Shinshu (Pure Land Buddhism) temples, it houses numerous national treasures of Japan, as well as four Noh stages, one of which is considered the oldest still in existence.