Charlie Chaplin Days, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Saturday and Sunday, all day. Chaplin spent his second year of filmmaking largely in Niles, and the museum (and town) celebrate. Lookalike contest, art show, and, of course, movies. Early shorts (I think all from his Niles days) in late morning and early afternoon, and his first Feature, The Kid, Saturday at 7:30. This isn’t among his best; there are times when you can feel him stretching to fill six reels, and others where the sentimentality overwhelms. But it has some of his best routines, most of them built around his very young co-star, Jackie Coogan. This may be the only time Chaplin allowed another performer to steal one of his films, and it was the right decision. The future Uncle Fester imitates Chaplin perfectly as an abandoned child raised by the little tramp.
A Casablanca, Stanford, Saturday through Thursday. What can I say? You’ve either already seen it or know you should. Let me just add that no one who worked on Casablanca thought they were making a masterpiece; it was just another movie coming off the Warner assembly line. But somehow, just this once, everything came together perfectly. And that, astonishingly enough, is about it.