Coincidence No. 156

I receive a Twitter invitation from journalist Martin Bright to share a GIF of my favourite movie. I find the scene in Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’ where he is being used to test a machine which feeds you in the morning, which goes wrong, covering his trapped face with food.

Later in the day I am reading a book about the liberation of Paris after the war by Antony Beevor & Artemis Cooper. It mentions that the title of the magazine ‘Les Temps modernes’, whose editorial committee included Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus, Leiris & Queneau, was inspired by Chaplin’s 1935 film.

(A couple of days before I went to the cinema for the last time before the Corona lockdown. It was the Phoenix, East Finchley. In the foyer upstairs I stopped to look at the plaque I had bought a few years ago when the Phoenix was fundraising for a revamp. The plaques, which used to be illuminated and attached to a computer, but now just hang dark, are people’s favourite films organised by year over a century. I paid for 1935, dedicated to my sons, and chose ‘Modern Times’. These days I oscillate between that film and ‘City Lights’.)

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