Posts tagged "silent film"
Some of the great gags using cuts with different settings. Surveyor’s instruments were used to position him and the camera in order to create the seamless effect.
Seriously, the next time you sit down in front of your TV and you don’t know what to watch, or the next time you just turn on default television programming, before you watch another episode of some shitty TV show or re-watch a favorite movie for the 10th time, just give Sherlock Jr. a try.
Sherlock Jr. (1924) Buster Keaton
Sherlock Jr. is absolute perfection. Buster Keaton tells the simplest stories in the most imaginative ways. I think it’s impossible for me to watch a Buster Keaton movie without the biggest shit-eating grin on my face. At only 45 minutes, this is one of the most concise examples of his genius - a simple, foundational story full of humor and heart, Buster Keaton’s “stone face” character so full of sadness and a vaudevillian sensibility, and a gradual build-up to perfect mayhem with wild stunts and sight-gags. Anyone who has never seen a Buster Keaton film should watch this one.
#146 - 6/29/2012
Go West (1925) Buster Keaton
I didn’t like Go West nearly as much as Seven Chances. There are some good gags with the cow he befriends, but most of the stunts involved herds of animals, and people being disproportionately scared of those herds of animals. Some nice things to look at, but not one of my favorites.
#134 - 6/13/2012
Seven Chances (1925) Buster Keaton
hoo boy that was some racist shit in there.
Even in a film from the 1920s, it’s hard to ignore those scenes with a man in blackface played for a laugh, or a joke based solely on the fact that Buster would ask any woman to marry him out of desperation, but not a black woman. At least no one in the theatre laughed during these moments.
The rest of the film was utterly delightful though. I saw this as part of a double feature with Go West, and I thought for sure that I would like the other better. But Seven Chances was just chock full of visual gags and wonderful stunts and really charming humor, and I loved it. Unfortunately tainted by the racism of the times, Seven Chances otherwise feels wonderfully fresh and inventive today. Definitely understandable if you can’t get past those scenes, but I still left happy, with a renewed (if also slightly reserved) love of Buster Keaton.
#133 - 6/13/2012