sdrawkcab backwards

mike salovesh (T20MXS1@NIU.BITNET)
Mon, 18 Apr 1994 22:51:00 CDT

The stunt of filming people walking backwards then running the film
backwards so that they seem to be walking forward, if not invented by
Charlie Chaplin certainly was used by him. When he directed his own
comedies, he accomplished the apparently dangerous or unlikely by
that technique. Chaplin was his own stunt man; when he controlled
the movie, he was not about to risk his life. So when it looks like
a runaway car screeches to a stop just in time to give him no more
than a gentle nudge, or when an arrow with rope attached plunks into
a board an inch from his head, think backwards!

The beauty of Charlie Chaplin's body control was that he could walk
backwards and make all his body parts seem to move naturally in the
reversed film. Absent that control, reversed film of backwards
walkers looks weird precisely because the rest of us don't know what
to control, or how.

(I'm holding my tongue--or keyboard--to keep from answering Robert on
similar pieces of language behavior. I stopped doing linguistics a
long time ago.)

mike salovesh anthropology northern illinois univ
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