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Marc Ribot: Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (1921)

INFO
Saturday, September 30 2023
8:00pm
doors at 7:00pm
TICKETS
$20 advance
$25 day of show
$2 off for SPACE members

A screening of Charlie Chaplin’s classic film The Kid with live musical accompaniment by legendary guitarist Marc Ribot. Co-presented by Kinonik.

The Kid (1921)
Directed by Charlie Chaplin
Screening of The Kid preceded by 16mm print and projection of Castro Street (1966, directed by Bruce Baillie) courtesy of Kinonik.

Ribot’s delicate and at times haunting solo guitar score accompanies the 1921 silent film— screened in 16mm by our friends at Kinonik—contemporizing Chaplin’s work as a relevant story about our era’s economic and social conditions.

Marc Ribot, who the New York Times describes as “a deceptively articulate artist who uses inarticulateness as an expressive device,” has released over 20 albums under his own name over a 30-year career, exploring everything from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler to the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodríguez. His solo release, Silent Movies (Pi Recordings) has been described as a “down-in-mouth-near master piece” by the Village Voice and has landed on several Best Of lists including the LA Times and critical praise across the board. Rolling Stone points out that “Guitarist Marc Ribot helped Tom Waits refine a new, weird Americana on 1985’s Rain Dogs, and since then he’s become the go-to guitar guy for all kinds of roots-music adventurers: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp.” He has also recorded with Neko Case, Diana Krall, Solomon Burke, John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, Marianne Faithful, Allen Toussaint, Medeski Martin & Wood, Caetono Veloso, Susana Baca, Nora Jones, The Black Keys, and many others. Marc works regularly with Grammy award-winning producer T Bone Burnett and New York composer John Zorn. He has also performed on numerous film scores such as Walk The Line (Mangold), The Kids Are All Right, and The Departed (Scorcese).

I did not use Charlie Chaplin’s score [which he created in 1971] as a reference. I admire his score greatly, and his writing greatly, but I did not want to use that as a reference because my interest in this, as with everything else, comes from doing a particular reading. And my particular reading of this film is as a contemporary film. This is kind of striking to me. When I first saw the film as a kid—like 45 years ago—it seemed really old. It seemed ancient. It was kind of walled off in this ghetto of the past. So much so that the content of the film seemed funny even when the characters weren’t being intentionally funny. It seemed inherently funny for something to be that old. Whereas, when I look at it now, I don’t see old. I see a contemporary story about a single father in economically really hard conditions. And I don’t think it’s only that I’ve changed. And it certainly isn’t the film that’s changed. It’s the same film. Perhaps it’s partly me that’s changed. [Laughs]. – Marc Ribot (Flavorwire interview, 2010)

🕯️ The dance show of the summer is Scapegoat Garden’s Liturgy|Order|Bridge. The Hartford-based company calls upon Black church traditions and ideas of faith, nature, fashion, and experimentation in their limited performance run June 20-22. Tickets available now, presented by SPACE at Mechanics’ Hall. 🕯️