Monday, September 15, 2008

Lunedi Lunacy

Buster Keaton by Al HirschfeldUnlike Charlie Chaplin, who only used the camera to record his performances, Buster Keaton, the Great Stone Face, knew film making inside out. He's recognized as a genius of the cinema but my father always use to claim he was simply the funniest man alive. I'd ask: Well what about Chaplin? He'd make a sound which I have since found, thanks Lorraine and Hat, is written as pfft.

Though Buster often directed his own films The Scarecrow was directed by Edward F. Cline. As in 15 of his other silent films he's teamed up with Big Joe Roberts, this time as roommates and rivals for the hand of the lady fair.

Even the slight glitch towards the end of this clip can't diminish the brilliance of this Rube Goldberg house and the incredible timing of these two brilliant comedians. And I'd never seen anyone swallow a tomato whole!

"Luke" the dog, was Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's pet and appeared in several two reel comedies.

Keaton did all his own stunts - some incredibility dangerous such as the train chase sequence in The General. This 2 second gag from Steamboat Willy Jr. took hours to set up and if it had been miscalculated by so much as an inch some serious damange would have been done - to Keaton!

My father may well have been right!

15 settembre - Madonna dei sette dolori


sageweb said...

All three of those were great. The dog is amazing.

Sling said...

This guy STILL cracks me up!
..and that dog is amazing.

Sling said...

..I can't find a single 'Nina' in Hirschfeld's caricature of Buster Keaton..most distressing.
Love the guy's work though.