FROM 11 FEBRUARY TO 24 SEPTEMBER 2023
Chaplin's World presents a preview of this new exhibition which introduces you to Charlie Chaplin's last unfinished work, The Freak. As the script never made it to production and remained buried in the archives all these years, it could be said that the beauty of this final work stems from the fact that it is unfinished, begging the question: What could it have been had it seen the light of day?
Designed around five sections – “From Tramp to Freak,” “Sarapha!” “Making the film,” “London Calling,” and “A Family Affair” – and a projection, the exhibition will feature a selection of over 3,000 archive documents, 1,000 pages of annotated stories, ideas, and drafts, over 100 original artist’s sketches, photographs, film clips, a number of previously-unseen pre-production files, home movies, personal letters, audio recordings, and a recording – long thought to be lost – of Chaplin reading extracts from the script and playing the piano.
«The FREAK : The story of a film » is en exhibition produced by the CINETECA DI BOLOGNA, with the collaboration of "The Chaplin Office"
“There is nothing that interests me more
in the world than exploring the human soul (…)
nothing more inexhaustible than the human equation."
The exhibition is presented in 5 sections and one projection :
From Tramp to Freak :
The first section takes a look at the events that brought Chaplin to write the script.
Sarapha ! :
This section of the tour focuses on the various literary and iconographical sources that served as inspiration for the film.
Making the film :
In this section, visitors move from Chaplin’s intimate creative process to the meetings with executives at Shepperton Studios, and learn about the film’s location scouting, budget planning, casting, and the design of Sarapha’s wings!
London Calling :
Chaplin's relationship with London is unique and this is very present in this script.
A family affair :
Chaplin also stated that he hoped, with The Freak, to pass the artistic torch to his daughter Victoria.
When Sarapha, the winged woman, falls onto the roof of a house, she awakens Professor Latham, a scientist and researcher in Chile. Astounded by this mysterious creature, he decides to take care of her and offers her shelter. After catching wind of this, sick and crippled people from everywhere rush to see this “angel fallen from heaven” in hopes that she will cure them.
Sarapha is then kidnapped and taken to London, put on display as a freak, tested, examined and exploited as a miracle healer. After an extended period of isolation and a trial to determine whether or not she is human, she finally escapes, intent on returning to her native land. But she ends up drowning, alone and lost at sea, on her journey across the Atlantic.
The role of Sarapha had been intended for Victoria Chaplin, who was just 16 at the time.
Fondazione Cineteca Di Bologna is a world-renowned cinematographic archive centre that encompasses multiple missions, including film preservation and screening, educational activities, research, and publishing.
Over the past twenty-five years, the Cineteca Di Bologna lab, L’immagine Ritrovata, has grown to become one of the world’s leading film restoration facilities and now holds over 1,000 titles, including masterpieces by Pasolini, Renoir, Fellini, Visconti, De Sica, Leone, Rossellini, Vigo and Keaton. In the early 2000s, under the leadership of Roy Export, Cineteca Di Bologna began restoring the short, medium-length and feature-length works of Charlie Chaplin, in partnership with other entities. To date, over 80 titles filmed between 1914 and 1957 have been restored.
- SELF-GUIDED TOUR
The exhibition is included in and can be accessed with a valid Chaplin’s World ticket. You can therefore visit The Studio, The Manoir, The Park and our new exhibition, "THE FREAK: The story of a film”, during the museum’s opening hours..
- GUIDED TOUR "The FREAK : The story of a film"
Complete the experience with the new 1.5 hour guided tour on the theme of "The Freak" and Charlie Chaplin. You will learn more about the secrets behind Chaplin's unfinished work, and discover many stories and anecdotes as you walk through the exhibition..
The guided tour will take place in the exhibition space and in The Manoir.
- Price : CHF 180.- / guide (in addition to entrance ticket)
- Maximum 15 people per guide
- Maximum 3 guides every 30 minutes
- Languages available: French, English, German
- Reservation required at least 15 days before the date of the visit.