Silent Film Analysis : The Immigrant : Directed By Charlie Chaplin

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1) Silent Film Analysis - The Immigrant (1917) - Directed by Charlie Chaplin 2) Many early films, and even films today, use what is called Freytag's Pyramid. Freytag’s Pyramid refers to the way a film is structured narratively, creating a similar pattern among the beginning, middle, and end of most films. I believe that The Immigrant mostly complies with this structure. Typically, a movie’s narrative using Freytag’s Pyramid will be laid out in a way that starts with a exposition, where the characters, scene, and mood is introduced. The Immigrant happens to comply with the pyramid on this point. The film opens with a shot of a ship, then continues on to show a rolling boat, its seasick passengers, and Charlie Chaplin’s comedic character. Most everyone aboard is sick except Charlie, and a few others. However, We don’t quite get much detail on the characters backgrounds, other than they are obviously immigrants from another country. Next, usually an inciting incident would occur that would trigger a conflict. When eating in the ship's dining room, charlie looks up from his table where a girl standing that he shows much interest in, and gives his seat to her. I personally believe this moment is the inciting incident that drives the rest of the story. Charlie’s drive to “get the girl” ends up causing him to give her all of his money after her mother had her money stolen. Later, after everyone is dispersed onto land, Charlie is left with no money. However, he finds a coin on the ground and decides to spend it on a meal in a nearby restaurant. Eventually, he spots the girl that was on the ship with him, and offers her a meal. Eventually, the scene shows a man being beat up and kicked out of the restaurant for being 5 cents short on his bill. Later, the waiter brings Charlie his bill, and as charlie reaches into his pocket for the coin he found and realizes the hole in his pocket. This could be seen as rising action, the next part of the pyramid. This moment escalates the conflict of not having money, since now Charlie is in clear danger. Tension rises as many minutes pass of Charlie stalling by ordering more food, and the waiter growing impatient with him. At one point, he even finds the coin again and the waiter

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