- Hardcover: 58 pages
- Publisher: Steidl; 1 edition (October 15, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3882437928
- ISBN-13: 978-3882437928
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1.5 x 12.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,487,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Charlie Chaplin: A Photo Diary Hardcover – October 15, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
The jacket on this compelling, weighty collection of Chaplin photographs shows the out-of-costume comedian looking at a doll modeled on his most famous character, "The Little Tramp." As he regards the small porcelain version of himself, Chaplin's expression is complicated, rife with introspection, curiosity and an undercurrent of resignation at his pop culture fate. It's an apt choice, since the photographs inside inspire the same kind of mixture, letting viewers bask in wonder at such a treasure of previously unpublished photographs and marvel at how Chaplin's personality and zeal for life seem to burn through, even in black and white. Edited from a family archive by photographer Comte, the collection is arranged chronologically, from 1909 to 1977, and nicely balances Chaplin's film work with his intriguing off-camera life. They also give a view into a world on the brink of making movie actors into heroes and idols. Snapshots of the artist's trip to Asia with girlfriend Paulette Goddard capture not just the long vacation of two vivacious people, but also document a time when dinners with geisha were experienced by the very few who ventured to the East. Alongside photographs taken by Chaplin's friends and children are official studio photographs, indicating the challenge in combining a public persona with a private life. Comte arranges the photos with thoughtful visual articulation and lets them stand on their own. The text is limited to a brief introduction followed only by spare captions, allowing the images to stand as a photographic chronicle of an extraordinary life. And with 18 fully restored Chaplin films set for release this spring on DVD, look for renewed interest in all things Chaplin.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Michel Comte was born in 1954 in Zurich. In 1979, his photographs caught the eye of Karl Lagerfeld at "French Vogue", and soon after Comte's career took off. His work appears regularly in U.S., Italian, and German "Vogue", "L'Uomo Vogue", and "Vanity Fair", and commercial clients include GianFranco Ferre, Armani, Givenchy, Nine West, BMW, and Revlon to name a few. In 2000, Steidl published two books of his work, "Aiko T.", and "People and Places Without Name". He lives in New York City.
Top customer reviews
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Not that I regret buying this one. No sir. It's full of rare public and private Chaplin photos including many with the stunning Paulette Goddard (her mother appears in so many of them, you'd think she was trying to be their chaperone!) I would've preferred fewer later pictures of Chaplin with his children and more of his actual film work as Vance usually does (these are mainly restricted to a few collages.) And I did miss pictures of more celebrities (I was particularly hoping for some shots of Chaplin working with cohort Stan Laurel during their earliest theatre days.) But the personal and behind-the-scenes selection they've included here certainly adds a whole new dimension to the man behind "The Tramp".
Just to clarify, some descriptions of this book are incorrect and were probably issued before the volume went to print. There is no essay by Sophia Loren as some indicate (it's done by Sam Stourdze), and no final colour shot of Chaplin (the only colour in the whole book is some home movie clips by Chaplin's brother of "The Great Dictator".)
This volume is larger and cheaper than the upcoming Vance book and has a more personal side of Chaplin while "Genius" will probably include more text (though both books are limited in this area given their photographic nature) and focus on the professional side. Either way, take your pick. Or get both which I'll probably do...after my pocketbook recovers.
Photos express far more than words in this book. I believe this is the first time I've seen photos that look into the eyes and soul of this film pioneer. You see him in front of and behind the camera. You see his wit and his dedication. Page after page of fascinating, incredible photographs make this an absolute must for anyone who wants a glimpse into those bygone days of the silent screen comedy.