A work of cinematic archaeology unearthing titbits of the history of Los Angeles and the early film industry hidden within Chaplin's timeless films. Combines movie images with archival photographs, vintage maps, contemporary photographs and scores of then-and-now comparison photos to conjure the silent movie era from an entirely new perspective. Includes not only Chaplin's classic films, but his lesser-known short movies and early work, highlighting both the genius of the man and the evolution of the city that provided the backdrop for his art.
John Bengtson is a business lawyer and film historian who discovered the magic of silent comedy at an early age. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin, Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton, and Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York Through the Films of Harold Lloyd. Bengtson has presented his work on Buster Keaton as keynote speaker at events hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive. He is a featured columnist of the Keaton Chronicle newsletter, and lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his two daughters.