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Buster Keaton

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Gary J.
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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby Gary J. » September 4th, 2011, 8:18 pm

What separates the great comedians from the merely good ones is that their comedy hits a higher plain - whether intentional or not. It's no accident that writers and critics have waxed philosophically over the artistry of a Chaplin, Keaton, Langdon, Laurel & Hardy, Fields...etc. These are clowns who's humor just naturally touched upon the human condition. It's how they saw the world and had the ability to comment on it so everyone could get the joke. Not that any of them would ever admit to being philosophical (.....except maybe Chaplin....)
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movieman1957
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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby movieman1957 » September 29th, 2011, 12:37 pm

It's October and it's Buster time. How unusual to have your Star of the Month turn up on Sunday nights. Lots of shorts to run through the night so my recorder will be busy.
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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby Rita Hayworth » September 29th, 2011, 12:57 pm

movieman1957 wrote:It's October and it's Buster time. How unusual to have your Star of the Month turn up on Sunday nights. Lots of shorts to run through the night so my recorder will be busy.


Thanks for reminding us Chris!

P.S. My recorder too!

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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby Gary J. » September 30th, 2011, 12:40 am

What?? You people don't own this stuff??....
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JackFavell
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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby JackFavell » September 30th, 2011, 9:58 am

I always like to get the recordings off of TCM. Sometimes they are better than the copies I might already have.

I can't wait to see Buster this month, it's fantastic that they made him SOTM!!!

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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby MichiganJ » September 30th, 2011, 11:48 am

Most of Keaton's MGM talkies haven't been released on dvd. So if you don't have them on VHS or laserdisc, this is a good opportunity to grab them. Just don't expect too much.
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JackFavell
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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby JackFavell » September 30th, 2011, 12:10 pm

I do like some of them, but as a whole different entity than the real Buster movies.

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movieman1957
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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby movieman1957 » October 8th, 2011, 10:57 pm

I must be losing my mind because someone posted a link to "Buster Keaton: A Hard Act To Follow." It's coauthored by legend and guest at the Oasis - Kevin Brownlow. For the life of me I can't find it. (MissG, Moira?)

Anyway I wanted to mention that it is three parts each with about 6 sections on Youtube.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxN8lowGaow[/youtube]

Sorry for the duplication.
Chris

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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby charliechaplinfan » October 9th, 2011, 9:25 am

It's a wonderful documentary, one of the best. I'd recommend a look.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby Rita Hayworth » October 10th, 2011, 3:17 pm

I watched both Sherlock Jr. and The Cameraman on Turner Classic Movies yesterday. Both were good films showcasing his wonderful talents as a silent movie star in 1920's.

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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby kingrat » October 10th, 2011, 6:45 pm

Kingme, THE CAMERAMAN was shown with a live orchestra at this year's TCM Festival, and people loved it. SHERLOCK JR. is another favorite. Two amazing films.

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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby JackFavell » October 11th, 2011, 10:11 am

Just watched the doc again and really enjoy the candid appearances, but most especially Eleanor's huge input. God bless her!

I've been watching and recording. Even in the Arbuckle shorts, Keaton stands out. His actions catch your eye, and I don't think this is because I am looking for him He's a still center in the swirling milieu of doctors or cops, with a specific job to do. He always completes an action, where those around him are simply jumping around or creating havoc.


I am struck by how deep Buster's films feel, compared to the Arbuckle films. His gags are multi-layered and (I hate to use this overused term, but there is no other that will do) existential. There is a stark beauty in certain scenes that only Chaplin can rival, they both have such grace. Keaton also takes such incredible TIME with his gags. As I said before, he is a completist, you know that he will not stop till he is completely through with a gag - there is a story arc to them - there is nothing left when he's done with it.

Keaton's face is really lovely, and his body is deeply expressive, even when taking a fall. You can never mistake Keaton's pratfalls for anyone else's. When he runs, it's thrilling and when he stands still, one wonders if he is near death from the depth of his thought processes.

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movieman1957
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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby movieman1957 » October 11th, 2011, 10:22 am

I've always admired his running prowess. The scene in "The Cameraman" where he runs to his girl's house while she is still talking to him is great not only for how fast he is but the way he negotiates traffic an people.

There's another gag, "Sherlock,Jr."? where he is pulled over for running too fast. Of course, it makes sense when we find out who the cop is but up till then it's a great gag.

I've been recording like crazy too but have had little time to watch. That comes up later as I assemble them.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby charliechaplinfan » October 11th, 2011, 12:56 pm

I love the running in The Cameraman, if only MGM had left him alone we might have been treated to more of comedies of this calibre. The one difference MGM introduced that I liked was a more well rounded female accomplice, in this case the lovely Marceline Day and in Spite Marriage, Dorothy Sebastien. I like seeing Buster as a romantic figure, however bleak his prospects.

I thought Eleanor really made the documentary so special, I remember thinking she must have known him in and out, what he thought, like she was part of him.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: Buster Keaton

Postby JackFavell » October 11th, 2011, 2:24 pm

I like the running in College too, when he runs the bases at full tilt though no one is there (correct me if I'm wrong, it's been a while since I've seen it).

I guess I'm not much for the romantic side of Keaton, though I usually lean toward romance in my movies and I do find him very handsome. However, some of those scenes in The Cameraman are swooney, like seeing his nose pressed up against her hair....

I feel the same way about the Marx Brothers, I don't want them going all goofy for Maureen O'Sullivan or Kitty Carlisle, I don't want them to be civilized, especially by MGM. Anarchy is what I want from my comedians, something no one else in movies can achieve. I do like Chaplin's romance, it seems such a part of him, but mostly I like their viewpoint of the absurd world. I want them to expose the hypocrisy of institutions and man's rote actions. In other words, the romance can be there, but it's not what draws me to them.


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