FILMUSIK Organ Grinders present Modern Times with Retake

We would like to claim that we thought this pairing up at the onset of the financial crisis as a critique of the displacement of workers by big business, but that was just dumb luck.

On July 19th the Organ Grinders concert series brings Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times to the Hollywood Theatre screen.  Working with Retake Productions for a special live soundtrack composed by Kyle Williams and performed by Retake’s chamber group. We’re excited to be presenting the work of Retake Productions on the big screen for a night that harks back to vaudeville and a time when people wore bowler hats sans-irony.  You might remember them from the Italo-’sploitation shocker Warriors of the Wasteland where they composed and performed the score.

July 19th – 8pm
Hollywood Theatre
Tickets $12 available at the Hollywood Theatre Box Office
and at

RETAKE PRODUCTIONS – Retake Productions is a music production company that was founded in 2007 by Kyle Williams and Adam Fuderer. Their goal is to create music that enhances great films and exposes them to a broad variety of people. They strive to develop a symbiotic relationship between film and music through collaborations with Portland artists of different mediums. Their music incorporates traditional, classical elements in juxtaposition with a modern, jazz/pop-based style.

MODERN TIMES – Modern Times marked the last screen appearance of the Little Tramp – the character which had brought Charles Chaplin world fame, and who still remains the most universally recognised fictional image of a human being in the history of art.

The world from which the Tramp took his farewell was very different from that into which he had been born, two decades earlier, before the First World War. Then he had shared and symbolised the hardships of all the underprivileged of a world only just emerging from the 19th century.  Modern Times found him facing very different predicaments in the aftermath of America¹s Great Depression, when mass unemployment coincided with the massive rise of industrial automation.

Chaplin was acutely preoccupied with the social and economic problems of this new age. In 1931 and 1932 he had left Hollywood behind, to embark on an 18-month world tour. In Europe, he had been disturbed to see the rise of nationalism and the social effects of the Depression, of unemployment and of automation. He read books on economic theory; and devised his own Economic Solution, an intelligent exercise in utopian idealism, based on a more equitable distribution not just of wealth but of work. In 1931 he told a newspaper interviewer:

“Unemployment is the vital question … Machinery should benefit mankind. It should not spell tragedy and throw it out of work.”

ORGAN GRINDERS – From under the screen, the sounds of modern groups are paired with movies from a different era, updating the genre of Silent Film accompaniment to the sounds around us today. Organ Grinders revisits the original vision of the Hollywood Theatre, built in 1926 with an orchestra pit and a hydraulically ascending theatre organ.


Friday, July 20