Reviews of Jon Yip's influential and intellectually-weighty discourse on Charlie Chaplin...
"Silent Films"... for the amateur movie goer, these two words conjure up sentiments like "old, boring, and cheesy." At least for me anyway. But after Jon's lecture and film on Charlie Chaplin and the Silent Era, I don't think a single person will ever feel/think the same about silent films. Jon has convinced me. Bring back silent films!
- Soomie Chun, former silent film skeptic
Magnifique! Fantastico, it was indeed! To be honest, I had expected the lecture to be focused solely on our good friend Mr. Chaplin, but was treated to a nice enlightening bonus lesson on silent films! In fact, it gives me some ideas on what I may make my lecture about... The film itself is one of the best you will ever see and is without a doubt a classic. I have to say, it's definitely one of the funniest movies I've ever seen... Not bad for a pre-talkie film nearly 80 years old!
- Daniel Khim, newly converted lecture connoisseur
"The Silent Protest" was a well contextualized exploration of a silent film actor's firm belief in his art. Jon Yip fully laid out the cultural and artistic sentiments surrounding the cinematic transition from silent to talkies, helping all of us understand the genius (and the pervert) that is Charlie Chaplin. Even Mr. Yip's creativity with the design of his powerpoint (it almost seemed to flicker as if through a film projector rather than a digital one...) envoked a nostalgia for the pure and good ole' days of silent film.
- Ji Son, still a little bit grossed out at Chaplin's infatuation with teens
I feel enlightened! I used to be agnostic, but have been converted... to be a firm believer in the true art of silent films! Who knew tears could be shed over a scene on mute! (Well, sort of... there was music) It seriously does take one heck of a lecture and one heck of a film to do that kind of converting. Excellent work Mr. Yip, excellent work. Goooooooo Charles Chaplin!
- Jinna Hwang, newly converted silent film fan
What a delight to see LaaF force another person to learn PowerPoint --evidently they don't make you learn it in home school! I learned so much from Jon's lecture, which makes me concerned that LaaF has had three people in a row who are actually legitimately qualified to talk about film... good thing we're having Ji in December! Hahahaha. It was also quite touching to see the self-described "Fundamental Wingnut" shed tears at the ending. Jonyip may not have his pilot's license, but he's a superstar in every other way.
- Julie Park, described by Jonyip as a "Bleeding Heart Moonbat"
Jon's presentation of the life of Charlie Chaplin and the history of silent movies made me, well, quite speechless! The information presented, though not familiar to me, inspired me to do my own research on the role Chaplin had during that period. Jon was informative as well as humorous in presenting the lecture with a great enthusiasm and knowledge of the material. His passion for the subject kept me interested and the movie furthered my curiosity of the silent movie era.
- J.H., speechless at silent films
The silent film is often dismissed by the populace as primitive and outmoded, a mere stepping stone to the sophisticated film techniques and technology of modern day. Count LaaFers among that populace no more. Jon Yip, in his trademark golly-gee-whillikers, vaudevillian style, lectured on the life and times of Charlie Chaplin, espousing the worth of the silent film as enduring art and entertainment. The revelation of Chaplin's firm belief in constraint in art (as well as his sardonic, in-film jabs at talkies) revealed an admirable pugilist against change who could not be so simply labeled a Luddite. What better way to support Chaplin's cause than to screen City Lights? It is a comic tour de force that also possesses one of the greatest endings of all-time; it is a clear statement to proponents of modern film that great art has always existed and new technology will never be its substitute.
- Jezreel Leung, cinemaphile: past, present, & future
I'm still disappointed that Jon did not dress up as Charlie Chaplin and have us sit and read his entire lecture in complete silence. But seriously, I actually already knew the ins and outs of the silent film era so his lecture pretty much just confirmed what I already possessed in my expert knowledge of the subject.
Just kidding. I was thoroughly educated and I must say I'm impressed that Jon had a say in AFI's Top 10 Movies Ever Made Since The Dawn of Man. It was a really great idea to screen a silent film since some o' the LaaF goers probably have never even experienced one. The fact that Chaplin's humor still holds up today is a testament to the timelessness of his films. It was hilarious and moving and I didn't even need any stinkin' words or dialogue to get in the way of my enjoyment. Even now, we can still relate to the themes. People struggling to make ends meet, overcoming our friends, people who don't bother to maintain friendships, suicide prevention, and moustached hobos working oddjobs to help pay for expensive surgeries for blind flower girls. I really hope that any skepticism anyone might've had about silent films was thrown out the window. LONG LIVE SILENCE!
-Philotheos Leung, lover of silence