Chaplin’s World

My recent visit to Chaplin’s World in Corsier sur Vevey, Switzerland left me feeling starstruck. Chaplin’s World, opened in April 2016, consists of both a museum dedicated to Chaplin and his personal home – Le Manoir de Ban – in which he spent the final years of his life.

The museum is extraordinarily organized, inviting, and interactive. After watching a ten minute introductory film on Chaplin, the guests begin weaving their way through informative panels, excerpts from films, and Grévin wax figures. I really didn’t expect to run into Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, Sophia Loren, Oona O’neill, Buster Keaton, Roberto Benigni, Federico Fellini Paulette Godard, Winston Churchill, The Tramp, and multiple Charlie Chaplins! Guests are welcome to interact with small staged sets from Chaplin movies and take pictures.

chaplin barber

Frequent chuckles and occasional fits of laughter from guests as they watch a movie excerpt testify to the pleasant and amusing atmosphere that accompanies the museum visit. Besides being extremely entertaining, however, the museum is immensely insightful.

Did you know that Chaplin wrote, played in, directed, and produced his own films? I certainly didn’t. His particular work ethic of involvement in each step of production is a trait I find admirable and impressive.

Furthermore, his movies starring his famous character The Tramp are deeper than a mod tim. dic. cc.surface level silent comedy. They communicate political and social messages pertinent to the contemporary issues of the time. Modern Times comments on the changing of the industrial, modernized world and the struggles of the Great Depression. The Great Dictator, in which Chaplin plays the roles of a fascist dictator and a Jewish barber, condemns Hitler, Mussolini, and anti-semitism.

I sincerely marvel at Chaplin’s talent; he was able to create a harmonious melange within films, which were charged with heavy sociopolitical subjects, yet laugh-out-loud hilarious.

After visiting the museum, I watched my first full length Chaplin film, The Gold Rush: I laughed uncontrollably. Laughing alone is a difficult thing to achieve, and a film capable of bringing me to do so is a confirmation of true quality. It is special to laugh alone, not out of social convention, but out of genuine amusement. You’re a wizard, Chaplin!

If you get the chance, I strongly recommend you pay Chaplin’s World a visit.


One comment

  1. Oui, cette visite en vaut la peine! Pour moi, Chaplin est synonyme de fêtes de Noël chez ma grand-mère, comme je te l’ai raconté sur place! La Télévision suisse romande diffusait un de ces films chaque année à cette date. A posteriori, je suspecte même ma grand-mère d’avoir organisé son dîner de Noël exactement à cette date, comme cela, les petits enfants étaient “casés” et tranquilles devant la télévision! Enfant, je n’ai pas perçu la poésie et la portée politique des films de Charlot. Je riais aux situations comiques, simplement. En grandissant, j’ai appris à porter un autre regard sur cet incroyable artiste aux multiples talents.
    La visite au Manoir de Ban m’a beaucoup émue. Il y a, dans ce musée, un “je-ne-sais-quoi” qui nous fait presque sentir la présence de Chaplin, comme si on allait le rencontrer au détour d’une pièce, le voir assis sur un siège à contempler le tableau magnifique de son jardin et des Alpes, le surprendre attablé à son bureau ou bien jouant au pitre avec l’un de ses nombreux enfants et petits-enfants… L’atmosphère familiale de la maison a été préservée malgré la transformation en musée. C’est magique!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s