Thursday, July 11, 2013

World Tour Revisited: CITY LIGHTS premiere in Antibes, Summer 1931

Charlie & Raquel Meller are on the left. May Reeves is on the right. 
Raquel Meller performed "La Violetera" as part of the opening program. May Reeves recalls the event: "During our stay at Juan-Les-Pins, City Lights premiered at Antibes. It was a great event for all the Côte d'Azur, heightened by the presence of Chaplin & Raquel Meller, who sang "La Violetera" with immense success. She admired Chaplin very much and asked him to write a scenario for her." (Reeves, The Intimate Charlie Chaplin)

4 comments:

  1. ok, so I finally read "The Intimate Charlie Chaplin" by Reeves...and I have to say, she makes him out to be almost psychotic. I have to think that some (maybe most?) of what she wrote had to be embellished for dramatic license, because why the heck would she hang with such a psychologically abusive person for a year?

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  2. I think it's safe to say, as Constance Kuriyama does in the introduction, that May would select and arrange facts to suit her own agenda. For example, May would complain that Charlie didn't buy her expensive gifts, forgetting that she was accompanying him on a lavish vacation--all expenses paid. However , I think May's book is one of the more accurate portraits of Chaplin, especially because it was written so close to the time the events occurred. You also get a first-hand account of what it was like to be Charlie Chaplin, the world famous star--and how he was often annoyed by the almost constant invasion of his privacy. There are also a lot of similarities between her description of his personality and those of Lita Grey and Georgia Hale--his moodiness, jealousy, cruelty, etc. I've always liked Paulette's description of him the best though: "Difficult, but charming."

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  3. Yes, I was glad I read the introduction as well as the final chapters that looked like details from Caryle (sic?) Robinson letters. There's moodiness and then there was what she described as three days of torture because she took 10 minutes longer to get ready and he railed on her for three days about "who were you with? tell me, just tell me, tell me!". I just couldn't buy that he was THAT obsessive with his jealousy. His personality, as described in other books, leads me to believe that he would be more likely to just walk off and leave her there and find some other little chit to hang with.

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  4. My friend, Lucy Jaffe, once described Charlie's romantic life as: "passion followed by rejection." I always thought that pretty much summed it up.

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