The Chaplin Machine: Slapstick, Fordism And The International Communist Avant-garde by Owen HatherleyThe Chaplin Machine: Slapstick, Fordism And The International Communist Avant-garde by Owen Hatherley

The Chaplin Machine: Slapstick, Fordism And The International Communist Avant-garde

byOwen Hatherley

Hardcover | July 15, 2016

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about

There was something uncanny about Charlie Chaplin. His fellow actors spoke of him as inhuman—automaton-like. His stiff, comic movements could be viewed as an attempt to parody the newly developed production lines of Henry Ford’s revolutionary factories. As wide-scale application of this technology spread to Soviet Russia, Chaplin’s slapstick comedic style also found a following among the artists carving out a new society under communism.
 
In The Chaplin Machine, Owen Hatherley unearths the hidden history of Soviet film, art, and architecture. Turning upside down the common view that the communist avant-garde was austere and humorless, he reveals an unexpected comedic streak that found its inspiration in the slapstick of the American performers Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
 
What did it mean for socialists to combine the ideas of Chaplin and Ford? Were their experiments indicative of a new future conception of work and leisure? And to what degree was this emphasis on comedy a precursor to the strangely festive despotism of Stalin? By asking these questions, The Chaplin Machine challenges our understanding of twentieth-century art in America and abroad.
Owen Hatherley is the author of Militant Modernism, A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, and Landscapes of Communism. 
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Title:The Chaplin Machine: Slapstick, Fordism And The International Communist Avant-gardeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 7.75 × 5 × 0.9 inPublished:July 15, 2016Publisher:Pluto PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0745336019

ISBN - 13:9780745336015

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Table of Contents


Introduction, Americanism and Fordism – and Chaplinism
1. Constructing the Chaplin Machine
2. Red Clowns to the Rescue
3. No Rococo Palace for Buster Keaton
4. The Rhythm of Socialist Construction
Conclusion: Life is getting jollier, Comrades!
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

The Chaplin Machine teems with exciting histories, possibilities, outrages and revelations. This brilliantly researched and beautifully written lightning bolt of a book approaches art and its history from a completely new point of the compass, and its readers will never again see the last century as they once did! An eye-bulging astonishment!”