New Documentary Exposes The Dark Side Of The Silent Film Era

Looking For Charlie, a Film About Depression, Suicide, and Silent Film, Hits Streaming on January 24th
MAYFAIR, U.K. - Jan. 21, 2022 - PRLog -- Studio Academé has today announced the long-anticipated streaming release of their feature-length documentary about depression and sucide in the age of silent film: Looking for Charlie: Life and Death in the Silent Era.

In this unique documentary, a pair of filmmakers set out to learn about Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and the suicidal comedians who inspired them, but end up on a global journey to understand how depression has shaped their own lives as well.  According to co-director Dr. Darren R. Reid, "Looking for Charlie is a lament for those of us who suffer, and those of us we have lost – and it is a celebration, of life, comedy, film, and challenges that help to define us all". It will be available to stream at no cost from January 24th, 2022.

Intellectual in its outlook, and emotional at its core, this innovative documentary combines an in-depth examination of the comedians who defined a century of laughter with a personal exploration of the ways that sadness and suicide have helped to shape so many of us.

The film goes on to explore the relationship between Buster Keaton and another forgotten comedian – Francis "Slivers" Oakley.  Despite being almost totally forgotten today, Oakley was a sensation in his own time.  And when he teamed up with Marceline Orbes, the pair formed one of the most important comedic duos of the Vaudeville era – the Laurel and Hardy of their day.  But like Orbes, Oakley fell on hard times and he, too, took his own life.  As Darren and Brett (the film's directors) explore their story and legacy, they increasingly have to come to terms with the ways that depression has shaped their own lives. They travel from London to Germany to New York and Hong Kong on their journey to understand how a pair of forgotten clowns helped to shape the most important icons of the twentieth century.

Looking for Charlie is written and directed by academic historians, Darren R. Reid and Brett Sanders. It provides a distinctly in-depth look at life in the eras of silent film and vaudeville. It was filmed on location in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Nuremburg. It was initially released as a exhibition film that toured the UK and was screened in venues that ranged from pop-up cinemas an exhibitions to the Cinema Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image. The film will be available to stream at no cost from January 24th on the Vimeo platform, followed by a premium streaming release later in 2022.

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