Sunday, November 22, 2015

Buster Keaton - The Art of the Gag

Every Frame a Painting looks at Buster Keaton - The Art of the Gag. A few years ago I set up a TiVo Wishlist for Buster Keaton (and others for Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd) as TCM often shows a short or a feature or does a marathon for a day. They're really rewarding. As the 8 min video below points out, most still hold up and while I got to see several films with classic scenes, I also saw several less well known gems. The last one I discovered is Chaplin's The Circus, which I thought was hilarious, one of his best, and I had never heard of it before.

I didn't know Keaton did each stunt once and only once (and if he didn't get it, he removed it from the film). The stunts at 6:40 and 7:30 are amazing. To think that a star did (or attempted) them in a movie is crazy. Recently the only actor coming close to Keaton was Jackie Chan. Now I'd have to say it's Tom Cruise, and I give him lots of credit for it. But both of them do multiple takes. To realize that every stunt we see Keaton do in a film was accomplished on the first take is incredible.


Irina said...

I always loved Buster Keaton. My favorite movie is 'The General.' And yes, the stunts are unbelievable. He was an incredible athlete. I saw Chaplin's Circus before, funny that you have not seen it until recently.

Howard said...

The General might be my favorite too. I'd seen lots of Chaplin but people always talk about The Gold Rush, Modern Times, City Lights, The Great Dictator and maybe Limelight. The Circus seems to be the forgotten classic.

Irina said...

I agree, The Circus was always underrated.