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MODERN TIMES (Charles Chaplin, USA 1936, 20. & 27.3.) Chaplin's second sound film  – in which he does not speak however - is a famous tragicomedy and social commentary about people caught in the wheels of technological progress. As a factory worker on an assembly line, as a test case for the "Billows Feeding Machine" and as an inadvertent strike leader, Charlie the tramp experiences the absurdity of regulated life, which degrades humans to appendages of machines. Even the small paradise that he sets up for himself and a poor orphan girl turns out to be delusory. In the end, the two find themselves walking along a rural road. It's a biting and ironic comedy that uses simple methods, plenty of visual wit and black humor, to contrast the vital needs of humanity with the over-rationalization and mechanization of life. (mg)

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