Charlie Chaplin [video]

Charlie in The Great Dictator

Guest host Lana Holmes from Utah sits in with Mimi this week! Lana is currently learning mediumship under Mimi’s mentorship – her deep knowledge of pop culture and history is what prompted Mimi to invite her to join as guest host so that she could bring in spirits that are relevant to this project, and she did: Charlie Chaplin!

Charlie was extremely open and honest with us about many subjects, including his fear of making a failed transition from silent films to talkies (after Lana called him brave for doing “City Lights”, Chaplin refuted it by saying it “wasn’t bravery, it was fear”), his perfectionism, his idealist approach to life which Mimi felt created a lot of anguish and moodiness in him – a flip side to the charming public persona he wanted us to be aware of – his “preference” for younger women, his pride at having expressed his opinions through his art, and his snobbish attitude towards new mediums (like talkies, television, etc.), a sentiment that he encouraged us to not imitate.

Charlie also sort of shocked us by just how open he was when he answered “bullshit politicians” to the question “what was your pet peeve?”  – which led to uncovering (at least for us) stories about lies that were used against him, like false claims of fatherhood, in attempts to vilify his public persona because of his political leanings. Charlie calling on bullshit? Hell yeah! He reminded us of the many challenges he had to go through to express himself and his opinions in his art, and the anguish and despair that these challenges brought in his personal life. He went through great lengths to not drop the subject and give us clues throughout the session about how these various events linked together and how deeply they affected him.

He spoke of Roberto Benigni as someone he enjoys and used his movie “Life is Beautiful” as a contemporary comparison for “The Great Dictator,” in the sense of a “clown” who uses a light-hearted approach to express an opinion on a very dark and difficult subject matter, something Chaplin sees as brave.

Chaplin came off as someone who was very self-aware of his public image, tormented at times, reserved but who could be very emotional and short tempered. With us, he was exquisitely charming and polite – he enjoyed milking his character throughout the session, and charm us by saying a few words in French for Mimi, or being at times flirty with Lana. This is someone who enjoyed seducing and presenting a very positive image of himself.

“The more there are people coming at you or against you, the more you know you are doing something important.”

Enjoy!

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