When Charlie Chaplin died on Christmas Day in 1977 at the age of 88, he abandoned the script for one final unfinished film entitled “The Freak,” a passionate project about a young woman with wings named Serapha who was on is exploited in many ways

Italy’s Cineteca di Bologna archives, long responsible for the preservation and restoration of Charlie Chaplin’s work, have just published a book that, for the first time, reveals the definitive version of Chaplin’s complete “The Freak” script The Book also contains previously invisible materials such as preparatory notes, drawings, photos and still images from filmed samples of the film, which Bologna archives chief Gianluca Farinelli calls Chaplin’s “artistic testament” ”

Serapha was born the son of a few British missionaries and ends up in Patagonia, where she becomes an angelic figure on a pilgrimage site for invalids who want to be healed She is then kidnapped and taken back to London to be displayed for cash in front of a crowd of wonder seekers before escaping and brought to justice to prove that she is in any way human

“The Freak”, in which Chaplin’s then young daughter Victoria was to play the lead role, is about the rape, murder and death of the girl in the Atlantic when Serapha tries to return to Patagonia. There was a little cameo for Chaplin himself as an incredulous drunk who she sees flying overhead in the London sky

Chaplin conceived and developed the idea for the film in 1968/69 when he was almost 80 years old. Even before attempting to raise funding, he personally hired designers to create storyboards and find solutions for the required pre -CGI effects

The book Cineteca di Bologna about Chaplin’s unmade film, which took 10 years of work, will be published in Italian before being presented to international publishers. In 2014, the archives of Bologna published Chaplin’s previously unpublished novella “Footlights”, the basis for his final finished film “Limelight” about a young ballerina and a clown The book “Footlights: The World of Limelight” with a commentary by British critic and Chaplin biographer David Robinson has now been published in 18 languages ​​

The book on “The Freak”, which also includes a commentary by Robinson, was compiled by Cecilia Cenciarelli of Bologna, who has worked with the Chaplin Archives for years, and found the material in the newspapers of Chaplin producer Jerry Epstein

Cenciarelli worked on the book in close collaboration with Victoria Chaplin, who provided insights and personal testimonies about the project in a conversation chapter, as did chief art director Gerald Larn during the preparation of the film Kate Guyonvarch, executive director of the Paris-based Chaplin Office, which licenses Chaplin rights worldwide, also worked closely on the project with

Farinelli calls “The Freak,” which opposes the almighty power of money, the growing impact of advertising and media culture, and even the rise of religious fanaticism, a “very powerful story” “Although Farinelli is from the imagination of an aging one Master’s, he notes that Chaplin’s last project is deeply rooted in 1969, the year the script is dated, “as is [Francois] Truffaut’s” The Wild Child “and Dennis Hopper’s” Easy Rider ” ‘”he says

In the book’s afterword, Farinelli instead points out that “The Freak” is the first Chaplin film in which a woman is both the protagonist and the “only positive character” “

“The Freak” should be “a tribute to the women in his life,” writes Farinelli A tribute to the great actresses Chaplin has worked with, including Mabel Normand, Edna Purviance (“The Kid”), Claire Bloom (“Limelight”), his fourth wife Oona O’Neill and his beloved daughters cited Victoria in particular

Farinelli also points out that at the age of eighty, Chaplin had freed himself from the burden of appearing on screen himself so that “his imagination could run free”. Finally, the tramp, the oddball, could do his last job “To assume the appearance of a bird woman, a freak”

Charlie Chaplin

World news – FI – Italy’s Cineteca di Bologna publishes book with complete screenplay for Charlie Chaplin’s unfinished film “The Freak” (EXCLUSIVE)

Source: https://variety.com/2020/film/news/charlie-chaplin-the-freak-italy-1234853030/