Sidewalk Stories + The Kid
Part of Film series Beyond the Canon
Sidewalk Stories (1989)
Director Charles Lane’s brilliantly inventive silent homage to Chaplin’s The Kidstars the director as a homeless artist scraping by in New York City. When he winds up caring for an orphaned toddler, the modern-day Little Tramp is whisked along on an alternately comic and heartrending adventure. Shot on the streets of 1980s Greenwich Village, this DIY gem balances charming visual gags with an earnest social realism that doesn’t sugarcoat the struggle of life on the streets.
The Kid (1921)
Charlie Chaplin’s debut feature (he also wrote, directed, produced, and composed music for the film) declares itself from the first title card a “picture with a smile—and, perhaps, a tear.” Abandoned by his mother, a young boy winds up in the care Chaplin’s clownish Little Tramp, who fights to protect him amid feats of transcendentally graceful physical comedy and moments of heart-tugging pathos.