City Lights + The Book of Love!

Join us for a special silent-romantic-comedic double header this Valentine’s day, featuring Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights and Lindsay Benner’s Book of Love performance!

As the sound era dawned, everyone wanted to hear the Tramp speak—everyone, that is, except Chaplin himself. Feeling that words in the Tramp’s mouth would evaporate the universality of the character, Chaplin pushed ahead with City Lights, easily his most focused, shining effort, and a rare silent film produced after the Twenties had closed. The Tramp befriends a blind girl who believes he’s a millionaire, and tries his hand at a variety of odd jobs to pay for her eye operation — meanwhile, a real-life fantastically kooky alcoholic millionaire becomes the Tramp’s new best friend, except for that thing where he tries to get the Tramp arrested every time they sober up. Seriously funny and deeply affecting, especially in a devastating final scene that will leave no audience member unmoved, City Lights is a marvel for being such a tightly-wound, densely-plotted work (even though it was born out of Chaplin’s obsessive on-the-fly scripting while the film was in production), and it feels light as air to boot.

Dir. Charles Chaplin, 1931, 35mm, 87 min.

As much echoing Giuletta Masina’s heartbreakingly doe-eyed Gelsomina in Fellini’s LA STRADA, as the cartoonish ferocity of a modern-day Lucille Ball, awarding-winning juggler and clown Lindsay Benner presents her most acclaimed creation, BOOK OF LOVE. A late-entry into the canon of classic silent vaudeville, this edgy comedic love story played to a series of sold-out audiences at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and an abridged version rang in the New Year with a midnight show at the Magic Castle. This is a rare opportunity to see the full show in Los Angeles.