Could Buster Keaton have starred in Battleship Potemkin? Did Trotsky plan to write the great Soviet comedy? And why did Lenin love circus clowns? The Chaplin Machine reveals the lighter side of the Communist avant-garde and its unlikely passion for American slapstick. Set against the backdrop of the great Russian revolutionary experiment, Owen Hatherley tells the tragic-comedic story of the cinema, art and architecture of the early 20th Century and spotlights the unlikely intersections of East and West.