Buster Keaton

The Great Stoneface (1895-1966)

The secret is in landing limp and breaking the fall with a foot or a hand. It's a knack. I started so young that landing right is second nature with me. Several times I'd have been killed if I hadn't been able to land like a cat. Imitators of our act don't last long, because they can't stand the treatment.
-Buster Keaton

Joseph Frank Keaton VI was given the name 'Buster' by Harry Houdini, of all people, at the tender age of 6 months. He fell down a flight of stairs without a scratch and even since then he was tumbling his way to riches. Buster came from a Vaudvillian family, and knew Houdini as they toured together in their travelling shows. As early as he could start, he was part of the act, which involved him being thrown around the stage, or hurled treacherously into the crowd. Early on he learned that audiences did not respond as well when he giggled and laughed as he was performing these stunts, so he adopted a deadpan look of deep seriousness. This look became as much a signature of his as his porkpie hat, earning him a second nickname: The Great Stoneface.

For me, Buster Keaton was a thing that made me realize early on in life that there was a time before mine, there were old movies, movies that came from even before my mother was born. Not only is that an interesting metaphysical experience at six years old but his stunts are the most daring, dangerous and outrageous that I've ever seen. Anyone who calls themselves a film fan should see at least some Keaton, especially since he helped pioneer Silent Slapstick.  Besides, he's just an amazing guy. 

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A LIGHT FILMOGRAPHY:

Neighbors (1920)

The Saphead (1920)

Squish's Review of Ten Buster Keaton Silent Shorts Part I (1920-1921)

Squish's Review of Ten Buster Keaton Silent Shorts Part II (1921-1923)

The Balloonatic (1923)

Three Ages (1923)

Our Hospitality (1923)

Sherlock Jr. (1924)

The Navigator (1924)

Go West (1925)

Seven Chances (1925)

Battling Butler (1926)

The General (1927)

College (1927)

Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)

The Cameraman (1928)

Spite Marriage (1929)

Free And Easy (1930)

Speak Easily (1931)

The Railrodder (1965)

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