The worker feeding machine in MODERN TIMES (dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1936)

The worker feeding machine scene in Modern Times is one of the archetypal images for our fearful vulnerability to technology–for me, right up there with the scenes of Hal the computer’s treachery in 2001. Here we’re on the factory assembly line, where the pursuit of efficiency might eliminate the lunch break as we know it. The feeding machine is wonderfully designed (probably by Chaplin himself), the tortures of the machine are inflicted with musical precision, and our identification with Chaplin is profound.

–Steve Smith

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