Recently, I went to Lincoln Center to see a showing of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights with live musical score accompaniment from the New York Philharmonic orchestra. To be quite honest, I'm not the biggest silent-film watcher. I enjoy them, but I will usually opt for a talkie when picking a movie, mainly because I love words and chatter. I do love seeing silent movies in theaters with live musical accompaniment though because that's the way audiences watched those movies back in the day. When I found out that the Philharmonic would be showing City Lights while they played the original score that Chaplin composed, I immediately bought a ticket because it sounded like an incredible filmsperience and I have shamefully never seen City Lights before (again, I'm very embarrassed to publicly admit not seeing a classic).
I was not disappointed. Seeing Chaplin's classic with a packed audience who couldn't stop laughing at the Little Tramp's antics and 'aww' at his sweet romance with a blind flower girl. Watching the movie while the audience uproariously laughed gave me a very different filmsperience than if I had watched City Lights at home: I like noting which parts make people laugh more than others, because they're usually different from scenes that make me laugh. The orchestra also played beautifully and I think Chaplin himself would have been pleased.
What is also definitely worth noting is the conductor that night. His name is Timothy Brock, and not only is he a well-respected conductor and composer, but he is the official film score preservationist for Charlie Chaplin's estate. He also restores and performs many other silent-film compositions all over the world. I can't think of anyone better to conduct a score for a Chaplin classic.