Daily Archives: June 13, 2011

Buster Keaton in “One Week”

It’s difficult to watch these early Buster Keaton films without applying hindsight. Pretty much the only lens I can view them through is the one colored by what I know (and love) about Keaton’s later feature film work. I’ll start my week of Buster Keaton reviews by saying, yes, the films are funny. They often border on the very slapstick, Keystone kind of funny, but they are funny. Be forewarned though. I’m reading these early Keaton shorts like reading tea leaves, trying to catch glimpses of the great Silent Clown that I know Keaton becomes.

From that angle, the very title of this short is cause for alarm. We know “One Week” is a long time and a lot of opportunity for things to go sideways in Buster’s world. The film begins with Buster leaving the church just after marrying The Bride (played by Sybil Seely). What should be a happy occasion is somewhat marred by the presence of The Bride’s former suitor, Handy Hank, seething just outside. Fortunately for their nuptial bliss, a very generous Uncle Mike has gifted the young couple with a house and a lot. Read the rest of this entry

5 Buster Keaton Shorts

Buster KeatonJust because Buster Keaton week was so fun, and because these shorts are perfect for a dog-day summer afternoon, I’m bumping this post back to the top. Viva la Buster!

Keaton began his movie career working in a series of comic shorts with the then popular Fatty Arbuckle. (Isn’t it funny just thinking about the two of them standing side by side?) Starting in 1920, after the scandal that ruined Arbuckle’s career, Buster made a series of short films for the Comique Film Corporation. Buster co-directed and co-wrote these films (usually along with Eddie Cline). Taking a look at this series of shorts, we can see a nascent Buster Keaton, not quite in the full flower of the talents that will be demonstrated in his later feature films, but getting there. To read my reviews and watch the 5 Keaton short, just follow the links!

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