Fantastic Museum for Charlie Chaplin, told how he became a knight

This text is about Charlie Chaplin’s Museum is worth a read to want to get there. Need to see it with my own eyes how masterpieces of the king of silent movies. House in Switzerland, where he lived the last 25 years of his life, recently rebuilt at the Museum. It has become a place of pilgrimage and is recognized as one of the best memorial spaces of the world. Awe, laughter and delight he is no less than poignant footage of Chaplin, but it is not important.

Photo courtesy of the press service of the Museum.

Museum with an impressive area of 14 hectares and with magnificent views of lake Geneva and the Alps, lost in the woods near the town of Corsier-sur-Vevey. The place looks more like a wilderness than a lively tourist centre. That is why Chaplin chose him, moving here in 1952 with fourth wife-the beautiful Una O’neill, presented by the time he is eight children and the bearing of another.

To move a family, Chaplin pushed the circumstances. In the days of McCarthyism in the United States were accused of UN-American activities and of belonging to the Communist party. And was, Chaplin did not hide his views, supporting, in particular, the policy of the USSR, visited us with a friendly visit. In 1952, the year while Chaplin was in London at the world premiere of “limelight”, the head of the FBI Edgar Hoover achieved from the immigration authorities of the USA of the ban on the return of the artist. That’s when he chose Switzerland.

To get from Moscow to Corsier-sur-Vevey simple and difficult at the same time. Just because SWISS fly without interruption. After landing in Geneva and brilliant owning a swiss travel pass, which is available to all Swiss trains, metro, buses, trams, trolley buses and more than 500 museums in the country, at the airport, you can sit in the right train. Little over an hour it will take you to the town of Vevey, where Chaplin went for groceries on the railway market, the road from which the Museum takes 10 minutes.

And difficult, because on the way you face many temptations. The most alluring of them are visible from the train window on the approach to Vevey is a world — famous Lavaux vineyards, which produces more than 40 types of wine. Chaplin loved them very much, although no more cherry liqueur. More temptation, thank God, is temporary, it happens only in Christmas days. It is the longest in Europe Christmas fair with handmade goods from around the world and flying in a sleigh of Santa Claus. It stretches for kilometers along the shore of lake Geneva in the gingerbread town of Montreux, through which the train goes. These landscapes fascinated not only Dostoevsky, Nabokov and Tsvetaeva, but also Lord Byron, who wrote here the story of the famous prisoner of Chillon castle.

In the house “Manoir de Ban” (“estate of the exile”) Chaplin lived the rest of his life and died at Christmas 40 years ago at the age of 88 years. Two years after this wife, una never left the bedroom. And in General, her life was not the easiest. Her father, writer Eugene O’neill renounced his daughter when she got married. She met Chaplin when she was 17 years old and he is 54, behind him there were several marriages and many girlfriends. Before meeting with the Hollywood star girl has worked as a model and came to him to audition to the “limelight”, where he played in the episode. Her acting career ended, and una was the perfect wife for 34 years.

After the death of Chaplin and his wife architect Philippe Meylan convinced their children to preserve the heritage of genius, and a house Museum. With the participation of the designer Yves Durand (fan of Chaplin), they developed high-tech and stylish project. Michael Chaplin has approved it and headed the Museum. In 2000, the steel was to begin construction, but began a long trial: a neighbor spoke against the Museum. In the end, its implementation took about 16 years and €50 million.


Photo courtesy of the press service of the Museum.

The Museum, like all the exhibition spaces of Switzerland, not conspicuous luxury, while technically are of the highest class. It is a complete Museum complex consists of memorial house, the Studio Chaplin’s World cafe “the Vagabond” (film 1915), where the food patties and buckwheat pancakes, which are admired by the artist.

To begin the journey is with the house of Charles (the Museum insist that the name “Charlie” is associated only with the movie, and “Charles,” with the house). Fashioned of wax, he meets us at the entrance with a disarming smile. Chaplin as a living. And next hang his image works by Fernand léger, Varvara Stepanova, Marc Chagall and other components of the exquisite portrait gallery along the stairs.

Home reincarnated into a Museum, has experienced a radical restructuring. Know about this photo, is located in the wrong order: the stack of books on the tile in the bathroom, on the TV. All the internal structures left from the old era, filled with new content.

Win-win is the bet of the Museum done on the interactivity which fully permeates the space. To see some of the exhibits have something to scroll through, insert, move, sit on sofa or lie down in the tub. Yes, here it is not forbidden. The Rangers, conversely, politely saying, “don’t worry. Even if you do something to hurt or get dirty, we can fix it. We have a dynamic Museum — in the spirit of cinema and the Chaplin”.


Photo courtesy of the press service of the Museum.

It is a treasure trove of his experiences, rare family photos, collections, books, works of art. Here Chaplin’s personal belongings: violin, bought them at 16 years of age and accompanied him all his life; bowler, cane, worn-out shoes, “Oscar”, “Golden lion” Venice film festival… Sounds of quiet piano music. It is the voice of the piano, which Chaplin bought on the advice of a friend, a pianist Clara Gaskill (she helped him choose the music to multiple paintings).

“I consider myself a citizen of the world,” said Chaplin. This is confirmed by the videos of his countless travels. As the palm reveals his whole life. Reverent conversation is conducted in real time. Indeed, among the 30 wax figures created by the Paris grévin Museum, constantly felt the presence of Charles, his family, guests of the mansion. Among them: albert Einstein, which mirror your protruding tongue; beauty Sophia Loren, who descended from the set of last of the Chaplin film “a Countess from Hong Kong”; Michael Jackson “moon walk”, which was inspired by the gait of Charlie.


Photo courtesy of the press service of the Museum.

With amazing warmth recreates the atmosphere of those years. Here’s the Desk: a pencil and paper; Chaplin back to work — waiting for the manuscript of his autobiography all — out and not to interfere! Everything is so authentic, as if he just walked out of the room. In a gorgeous antique mirror for his office reflected amusing, and sometimes beautiful pieces of furniture. They were all part of the slightly bourgeois interior of the estate, Charlie Chaplin, who was born in a simple family of theatrical artists.

“Charles was an obsession to do everything himself, even playing all the roles in all his films,” wrote film critic David Robinson.

Knight Chaplin (letter signed by Elizabeth II, complaining him the title of sir), smoothie, nature lover, fisherman… In the atmosphere of the Museum hovers the spirit of fun and laughter — the essence of a great comedian.

Move in the interactive Studio. In the auditorium of 150 seats in refreshed memory of the Chaplin film classics. After the curtain is rolled up and a few seconds later reappears, but not exposing the screen, and the corridor from which beckon the scenery and wax characters from the Chaplin film sets. Want to run around swinging house of “Gold rush” in the midst of an artificial snowstorm? Or drink with the bartender from “the Great dictator”? To flip and get stuck in the propellers of the huge machine of the “New times”? To wander through the world Chaplin’s emotionally right into a universe of Hollywood.


Photo courtesy of the press service of the Museum.

Shocked, yet had time to mourn, and to laugh, watching the brilliant acting by the Master, we find ourselves in the editing Studio. Mountain fragile old films. Chaplin himself masterfully and meticulously edited their films. And we will try to combine a few images: the Museum is allowed to not only watch, but to act.

Charlie Chaplin — 81, the film for 75 years. One of them can be seen here. This homemade tape 1960-ies, where the gray-haired genius, galloping across the lawn of the estate, holding the hands of kids. This character strikes stronger than the Little tramp: even in the 80th year of his life Charlie is the most violent child among his children.


Photo courtesy of the press service of the Museum.

The last words of his biography, which is found in the end of the road — about family and home: “Full of happiness, I sit down sometimes to watch the sunset on the terrace and looking on the broad green lawn, on the lake, on a quiet mountain in the distance — and, nothing thinking, rejoice in their majestic serenity”.

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