Austria | 2021 | 65 min | Norbert Pfaffenbichler

April 14 - 24, 2022

An experimental, punk-style interpretation of Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid—with elements of Guy Maddin, Freaks, the Brothers Quay, David Lynch, and Titicut Follies—set in a subterranean slapstick police-state dystopia populated with grotesque masked figures.


David Lynch meets Guy Maddin in this punk-rock adaptation of Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid with a touch of Brothers Quay and Freaks and Titicut Follies thrown in for good measure. As people in monster masks rise up against security forces in gas masks, a man in a monkey mask saves a kid in a burlap bag mask and leads him to safety through a sewer filled with masked hobos. Or maybe they’re not masks but mutations. It’s impossible to tell. Either way, this post-apocalyptic silent film moves Chaplin’s humor and sentimentality into a world of creepy doctors, circus freaks, and grotesque meals. We’ve shown found-footage documentaries by director Norbert Pfaffenbichler before, including the James Mason portrait Invest in Failure (SIFF 2019) and the Boris Karloff doc A Masque of Madness (SIFF 2014), and now we’re showing this, his first ersatz narrative. Yes, it’s a terrible title, but the credits say “The Kid” is episode one and the next one will be called Orgy of the Damned. That’s certainly something to look forward to.

Andy Spletzer

  • Director: Norbert Pfaffenbichler
  • Principal Cast: Stefan Erber, David Ionescu
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Austria
  • Year: 2021
  • Running Time: 65 min
  • Producer: Norbert Pfaffenbichler
  • Cinematographers: Martin Putz
  • Music: J.S. Bach, Wolfgang Frisch, Simon Spitzer
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Invest in Failure: Notes on Film 06-C, Monologue 03 (2019), A Messenger from the Shadows (Notes on Film 06 A/Monologue 01) (2013), A Masque of Madness (Notes on Film 06-B, Monologue 02) (2013)
  • Language: No Dialogue
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Sixpack Film