Saturday, March 26, 2011

Charlie Chaplin Display

Many of you know about the option at Union to meet with a Research Coach to help with projects, paper, ideas or simply finding sources. Over the past semester it has been really fun meeting with students and learning more about a broad variety of topics. Professor Worley and I have developed a friendship and he encouraged his students that were taking the philosophy of film course to take some time to sit down with me for help or maybe just to discuss the research for an assignment for this course. Essentially they were writing a paper that found a connection between  a film director's work and a particular philosophy or the thought of some philosopher. While I have enjoyed meeting with students from many other courses, meeting with these students in philosophy of film was particular engaging and rewarding. I learned a lot and found that brainstorming and searching with the students for sources was relatively fruitful. I helped students find articles on the connection between David O Russell, director of I Heart Huckabees and the ideas of, "being and nothingness" inherent in the existentialist philosophies of Camus and Sartre. I helped students brain storm and find articles on the works of Christopher Nolan who directed the last few Batman films, Memento and this past summer's blockbuster Inception. Darren Aranofsky and even Clint Eastwood were the subjects of some of the research topics for students in the philosophy of film.

In doing all of this fun! research I realized that it would be interesting to put some of the films from our collection that had been researched on a film display in the library. Many of you may have seen the display of popular films located in the library just outside of the tv/ seating area. It came to my realization that we had a lot of interesting books and films on Charlie Chaplin who in many ways was the father of American cinema. Chaplin brought hope and laughter to a generation of Americans that went through the first world war and then very difficult economic times during the great depression. His character, "Little Tramp" has been an incredibly iconic figure in American culture. A student was researching Chaplin for The Philosophy of Film course and we discovered many of the great resources that we havein the library on the early American film icon. So I thought it would be a great idea to put some of these things on display. We have also ordered the 1992 film, Chaplin, in which Robert Downey Jr. plays Charlie Chaplin. I thought it was important to explain this display and the resource that are on it. Check out the Charlie Chaplin display just inside the library.
Chaplin, Charlie, 1889-1977. Photograph of Chaplin as the Little Tramp. [n.d.].retrieved from 3/26/11

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