Buster Keaton: the joys of silent comedy

Buster Keaton: the joys of silent comedy

https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest

I am a huge Buster Keaton fan as I simply adore his work so much as it is one of the biggest joys for me to watch his work on screen as he simply is a wonderful act to watch on screen. I would say he ranks among the best of comedy legends all time to my eyes. Buster kreaton is simply one of the true founders of modern comedy. He is simply a marvelous legend that may be one of the best of silent comedy legends all time throughout his cinematic career, Buster Keaton was never particularly considered to be a producer of films that were socially or politically engaged yet his work on the screen is bar none among the best of silent comedy before e Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy. 

The Fourth Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon!

I talk about him today for The Fourth Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon which i frankly hope enjoy my talk and read other works form this wonderful event.

Buster Kreaton: the joys of silent comedy

The General review

The General is a roller coaster ride of laughter.  The General was a critical & commercial failure during its time of release but is now considered as one of the greatest films ever made. The General is Buster Keaton’s magnum opus as even if I adore Sherlock jr far more this movie. The General  manages to be so enjoyable for its whole run time  The General presents the silent star at the top of his game as it is inventive and creative with so many wonderful gags and stunts on the screen. It has many moments that are jaw dropping to watch unfold on the screen. The General is Buster Keaton’s most accomplished work as a director even if I love Sherlock jr far more then this marvelous gem. I find The General to be a marvelous classic that is truly one of his best movies he ever did on the screen that you should see today.

 

 Sherlock Jr (1924) review
One film which stands up to critical re-discovery one of Keaton’s most celebrated Sherlock Jr (1924). It’s such a wonder this movie is a joy to watch. Buster Keaton is starring in a movie about It tells the story of the ‘Boy’ played by Keaton, a lowly cinema protectionist who dreams of becoming a famous detective yet it’s the wonders it does as he dreams as it breaks some amazing new grounds here as it’s a simple story that uses using pioneering cinematic techniques that would still evoke a sense of spectacle within modern cinema. Throughout the film, Sherlock Jr plays with ideas of reality and fiction and the distinction between them. The film employs two narratives, one imagined and the other set in the film’s diegetic reality. This parallel of narratives gives Keaton the ability to offer a comedic analysis of an individual’s identification with those on-screen. Sherlock Jr should be complex given its narrative and stories nature. It’s yet a wonder its simple idea of a dream makes many of the stunts seem so possible. Keaton is given license to instill a number of ‘gags’ which would seem implausible within a narrative set in reality. The cinema theatre is a good example of this, although there are several throughout the film. In one scene Keaton appears to jump through someone to escape, in another he jumps through a window into a moving car. By staging the narrative within a dream like world, Keaton can push the cinematic boundaries further than many comedians before him. Thus, Keaton can perform tricks than astound and amaze audiences while remaining somewhat plausible as its yet such scenes that make me smile at this marvel. Sherlock Jr is a highly imaginative and inventive film comedy that explores ideas of reality and cinema through experimental film-making techniques that make it something so inventive and fresh that it stands as one of the wonders of cinema with outstanding Cinematography marks it to be a true masterpiece.
Seven Chances review

Seven chances is A nearly perfect film, and for my money the only Keaton feature that sustains the invention and exuberance of his best shorts as it does keep many of the traits of his shorts bringing them to screen.  Buster Keaton’s  Seven Chances is an amusing look at love, marriage, and money that is such a fun little gem to watch anytime.

 

Three ages review

Latching onto the massive concept that D.W. Griffith put forth in ‘Intolerance Buster Keaton makes one of the earliest spoofs by sending up Griffith with essentially with essentially a rom-com set in three periods of time.  It is so funny to watch Buster Keaton in each period of time try to win girl a form a caveman to modern day. Each setting has its highlights with the always wonderfully constructed chases that Keaton does so wonderfully well on the screen with such wonderful gags and shots that all stand out in each period of time. It’s a rollicking good time and for Buster’s first independently produced feature is truly a classic must see.

I simply adore buster kreaton because he simply could make any simple gag and many complex gags all work together as I went through his shorts and movies I found that he simply is marvelous with his timing that he manages make any gag truly stand out by his timing as he makes simple gags and many ladder gags all stand out. He is also a wonder with mechanical gags and he adored trains and other modes of transport as he would often use them in his gags and shorts and movies all of his gags were truly amazing as he did some groundbreaking work in some of his movies such as breaking fourth wall in Sherlock jr to his inventive sets and way each set and idea was done on screen as buster was truly a wonderful master of comedy that still inspires everyone today.  I hope you enjoyed my talk on his works for his tribute today for The Fourth Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon today as always until next time.

BUSTER KEATON joyful shorts

BUSTER KEATON joyful shorts

https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest

I am a very huge fan of Buster Keaton. I would say i adore his work so much. He is one of the biggest joys for me to watch his work on screen as he simply is a wonderful act to watch on screen. I would say he ranks among the best of comedy legends all time to my eyes. Buster kreaton is simply one of the true founders of visual comedy and modern comedy in so many ways so to talk him is a real joy now.

The High Sign review

The high sign is one of the best buster Keaton shorts with a ton of amazing athleticism and stunts and tons of gags it really packs a punch. The gags of the high sign are wonderful to watch form its simple gags to the surreal gags. Buster Keaton creates many fun gags that all really stand out with such charm to each of them they make you crack up and laugh instantly. Most silent shorts are long on gags but short on plot but this one has his character working in pawnshop and his character climbing houses as it shows many different facets on this short. Buster Keaton packs in an awful lot of locations and characters in 19 minutes making it a very jam packed short that will bring you joy to watch anytime on the screen.  The short ends with Keaton cavorting through a tricked-out house booby-trapped and full of secret passages that shows off physicality and visual inventiveness that is truly ahead of its time in so many ways. This is a wonderful short that you will enjoy to watch anytime.

One week review

One Week is one of the most impressive short films I’ve ever watched on any screen.  The stunts are absolutely incredible from the very beginning they get bigger and bigger as the short goes along to its end. The stunt work of Buster Keaton ranges from simple stunts to complex stunts as this short show off the wonders of Buster Keaton’s stunt works on the screen. Buster Keaton and his newlywed wife are gifted a plot of land and try to build a home for themselves, but things quickly begin to go wrong when the pieces get mixed up as normal everything seems to go wrong with this newlywed couple. One week is a marvelous short that you should see today.

Convict 13 review

Convict 13 is Buster Keaton’s first directorial efforts as director.  During a game of golf, Keaton knocks himself out with his own ball and an escaped convict changes clothes with him. The guards mistake him for the prisoner. The joy of Convict 13 is the mistaking intent he plays off of trying to escape. Buster Keaton’s performance really shines in Convict 13 as he is really the king of comedy as this short comedy gem shows off all of his talents as a comic to a great effect on the screen. Convict 13 is a wonderful short you should see today.

The Goat review

Buster gets mistaken for a murderer, dodges the police, and plays around on trains in the goat. The Goat is a charming little gem with many wonderful gags and moments that makes it a must see for any fan of Buster Keaton.

The boat review

The boat is one of Buster Keaton’s best shorts in my eyes. I adore watching Buster Keaton deal with this boating trip from hell. It’s a fun family trip gone wrong with much of it the blame of the buster’s very bad luck as everything seems to happen form sinking his boat to losing it fully in a storm as he cannot ever seem to win anything in this short. The boat is one of my favorite shorts starring buster Keaton. The boat is a wonderful gem that you should see today.

The paleface review

A Buster Keaton comedy-western as it’s where Keaton defends some Native Americans from greedy oil-men. This is one fun comedy western spoof that is something is so much fun to watch on screen. Buster Keaton plays such a soft role in this short with many fun little gags and moments to watch on screen. This is a fun little western comedy gem you should see today.

cops review

I would call Cops among Buster Keaton’s short comedies is one of his most recognized and famous and with good reason as it’s truly one of his best works of comedy for the screen. Buster Keaton displays pure athletic ability, daring stunts of his own and simply hilarious comedy that all shine together on the screen. One of the most impressive things in the film for me was the ladder sequence as that is half the size of hat is half the size of the fence as like a seesaw it tips down to the other side, and whilst this is happening, he turns his body around on the ladder whilst it is going down whilst this is happening, he turns his body around on the ladder whilst it is going down. He sees police officers coming, so he shifts his weight to the other side of the ladder, rotating his body once more causing it to tip over as gags of ladders this gag is the best of this kind of gag ever done for the screen. Another scene that stands out in cops is Keaton going down the street on his horse and carriage as a cop parade happening as he catches the bomb tossed at it and lights a cigarette with it. Cops is a truly funny and wonderful comic gem with many wonderful gags and moments that will bring you joy anytime you see them unfold on the screen making this a classic comic gem you should see today.

The Electric House review

The Electric House is another great Buster Keaton short that highlights his delight in all things mechanical on the screen.  The Electric House is probably the high point so far of Keaton using technology for laughs as he truly does such wonders with all things mechanical on the screen. The Electric House is a pure joy to watch unfold on the screen with its many wonderful moments to watch unfold on the screen. History buffs will know Keaton broke his ankle filming the escalator scene and had to put the film on hold as he dusted off an old short until the next year then re-shot everything from starch to perfection to make this gem.  The Electric House is Hilarious, inventive, unique and full of wonderful gags to watch unfold on the screen. The Electric House is a fun short gem that you will adore to watch anytime.

Why i adore buster kreaton so much

I simply adore Buster Keaton because he simply could make any simple gag and many complex gags all work together as I went through his shorts i found that he simply is marvelous with his timing that he manages make any gag truly stand out by his timing as he makes simple gags and many ladder gags all stand out. He is also a wonder with mechanical gags and he adored trains and other modes of transport as he would often use them in his gags and shorts.  He did westerns a few times that managed poke fun at the western in fun ways before western spoofs were a thing. It is truly remarkable managed do so many wonderful gags and stunts without help of anyone. I enjoyed to talk him today i hope you enjoyed my talk on some of his shorts today.

The Bride’s Play

https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest

My Silent’s are golden theme continues with another look upon another classic silent movie classic as I continue to explore the many facets of silent movies as this era has such vast richness and depth to its storytelling it told upon the screen.  Today’s review is The Bride’s Play (1922) Cosmopolitan pictures lead up its follow up to her breakthrough role in the star-making When Knighthood Was in Flower. This lush romantic drama is presented in my review today for my blog.

Marion Davies stars as a Bride at an Irish wedding. According to custom, she asks each man if he is the one she loves best, but when the man she truly loves appears everyone is in for a big surprise.The Bride’s Play review

The Bride’s Play refers to an odd custom probably fictional where an Irish bride circulates among the men in the wedding party and asks them if any one of them is her true love. Marion Davies stars in this role as she plays Irish lass pursued by an older man (Wyndham Standing) and a rakish poet (Carl Miller) as she simply plays a wonderful role upon the screen it is common with many Davies films this one has a fantasy sequence which shows Davies as a 12th Century woman named Enid who enacts the bride’s play but runs off with her true love when she asks if he is the one she loves.

Marion Davies had beauty and personality as both emphasized in this wonderful film. Marion Davies is elaborately gowned in both the medieval and the modern wedding sequences really looks amazing to look at look upon the screen.  Many of Davies films featured her in elegant costumes due to the wishes of William Randolph Hearst, the producer of her films and her lover the producer of the film. The most interesting aspect of the film is the beautiful cinematography of the film’s setting supposedly Ireland but actually the rugged coast near Carmel, California.

The actors are framed against a background of the picturesque pines and cypress that overhang the cliffs and beaches of the coast. The cinematographer Ira H. Morgan photographed several of Davies’s films in the 1920s including Beauty’s Worth (1922) her next film that also has outstanding photography of the Carmel coast. Undercrank releasing this wonderful movie in a near pristine gorgeous print really shines as Marion Davies shines throughout. The costumes in the last quarter of the film are exquisitely wild and the final scenes featuring ‘the Bride’s play’ provide a great twist as the soundtrack is simply wonderful. This film is visual treat that will be watched again and again by me often. This is simply a marvelous classic to watch anytime.

The Bride’s Play (1922) starring Marion Davies(buy it here folks)

The Ruth Rating:

 

Forbidden Fruit

https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest

My Silent’s are golden theme continues now with a look upon another classic silent movie classic as I continue to explore the many facets of silent movies as this era has such vast richness and depth to its storytelling upon the screen. Today’s review I review Forbidden Fruit (1921) a movie that is Cinderella-of-the-Tenements tale, Forbidden Fruit is also a decadent slice of the twenties, as viewed through the extravagant lens of Cecil B. DeMille.  Today I review another golden silent gem for my blog.

Forbidden Fruit review

Cecil B. DeMille is in good form in this drama centering on a poor seamstress (Agnes Ayres) who gets caught up in a web of deceit and murder when she accepts an invitation by a social climber (Kathlyn Williams) to fill out her dinner table by posing as Natalie Webb. The scheme is to fill the table with pretty young women to stall a potential business partner (Forrest Stanley) from leaving town before he can invest in the husband’s (Theodore Roberts) oil venture as dramas form this era go its surely a fun one to watch unfold on the screen.

This movie has a good story with good acting that has such wonderful ideas by its director.  The DeMille/Macpherson team could not resist driving home their Cinderella point without a decadent fantasy sequence which happens to be a highlight of this movie as its truly one of those marvelous scenes that is wonderful to watch unfold upon the screen. Another notch in the film’s favor is the delightfully over-the-top set and costume design. Natacha Rambova took the usual Rococo look that Cinderella is often saddled with and made it so different from anything done for this classic tale. end up with a kind of science fiction French court that stands out among classic movies sets of this sort, a  light-up skirt for the fairy godmother, the look is amplified by the glass sets and stylized performances. Forbidden Fruit could have benefited from better leads overall as all give out good performances upon the screen. This is a fun gem that I wish would be on DVD soon as it is a shame this is one classic movie you should see.

The Ruth Rating:

Ella Cinders

https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest

The theme for august is silents are golden as i begin to explore the many facets of what makes silent movies magical.  Movies are memories of a lifetime we must keep them alive as silent movies are often overlooked by movie lovers as they forget about these golden classics. Its a shame as many of these movies are wonderful tales that tell diffrent takes on the classic stories and many orginal ideas that shine brightly. Movie magic does not need to talk to be magical as silents are golden in this month’s theme.  So i begin with a delightful look upon a new twist on the classic  Cinderella story.

Ella Cinders review

Cinderella is one of those stories that often is retold on the screen to many different takes on the classic tale. Cinderella has been performed set in hundreds of times and places as this version takes us on the Hollywood dream of the tale. Poor Ella Cinders is much abused by her evil step-mother and step-sisters. When she wins a local beauty contest she jumps at the chance to get out of her dead-end life and go to Hollywood to be a star.
ELLA CINDERS (First National, 1926) a John McCormick production, directed by Alfred E. Green is a star vehicle for Colleen Moore, a popular silent screen flapper of the 1920s in one of her more notable comedies of her career that has become forgotten through the passage of time. It’s a Hollywood story taken from both comic strip character and Cinderella fairy tale, and reminiscent to Mabel Normand performance in THE EXTRA GIRL (1923).  Ella Cinders is based on a comic strip (or, as the main title has it, “comedy strip”) of the same name that started appearing only the year before the film version was made.

Colleen Moore is brilliant as Ella, funny, warm, beautiful, vivacious. The scene when she finds she has won the contest will move you to tears. Colleen Moore’s performance as Ella Cinders is truly what makes this movie click as Coleen makes the movie a riot with her comedic talent that really seems to match with many other great comedy legends.  Colleen Moore was the real revelation of the picture for me as she carries the story with her delightful charm. This movie mocks Hollywood as its ironic it mocks as it’s basically the Hollywood dream tale it is spoofing.
This silent classic has Terrific trick photography with the delightful Colleen Moore’s performance and Harry Langdon, and even director Alfred E. Green making an appearance with the  comedic charms of Colleen Moore make this silent movie classic a delightful comedy classic you can enjoy anytime.

The Ruth Rating: