Joey (sister) and I had a wonderful afternoon today at De Montfort Hall in Leicester for her early birthday treat.
We had two front row seats for Chaplin’s ‘City Lights’ with a live accompaniement from the Bardi Orchestra.
I love the power and intricacy of having a full orchestra in front of you, but after a few seconds of the gorgeous black and white film, I had forgotten they were there and luxuriated in the richness of the sound and images, until Joey pointed out the amazing work the cellos were doing during the party scenes.
I have always been a diehard fan of Buster Keaton and fashionably dismissed Charlie Chaplin blithely, but here you really understand how much of a genius he is – expressive, athletic, emotional, funny, pathetic, vulnerable and heroic.
It was a joy from start to finish, enjoyed by everyone evident when you listened to the laughter and exclamations. I welled up at the end as the perfect story finished and it reminded me again of the beauty of silent films.