Art of Buster Keaton, The (Vol. I)*

Home » emc » titles

Art of Buster Keaton, The (Vol. I)*

  • 1995 ----- b & w ----- 345 min ----- laserdisc
  • Buster Keaton's films enjoyed only moderate commercial success at the time of their release; it is with the passage of time that their subtle riches have been fully appreciated. Keaton's public signature was his stony face, which seemed never to betray his feelings. But this impassivity was belied by his body, a dynamo of movement and acrobatic grace that carried Buster through many a hostile situation. The jokes were never at someone elses experience; they all imperiled him as he sought love, the promise of wealth or the comfort of his family. Contains The Saphead (1920) (With Buster Keaton, William H. Crane, Carol Holloway, Edward Connelly, Irving Cummings, Beulah Booker) Bertie Van Alstyne is the spoiled and not-so-bright son of a powerful Wall Street mogul. Unable to escape the wealth and comfort that are thrust upon him, he searches for his own individuality in a series of misadventures that range from the speakeasies of New York to the matrimonial altar, and even on to the vaulted floor of the Stock Exchange (77 min). The High Sign (1921) (With Buster Keaton and Al St. John) Buster is unwittingly involved in a radical secret society known as the "Blinking Buzzards," where he stumbles from assassin to bodyguard in a romantic adventure that climaxes in a romp through a booby-trapped mansion (21 min). One Week (1920) (With Buster Keaton and Sybil Seeley) A parable of one couple's unflagging determination to build a do-it-yourself prefabricated honeymoon cottage, where dreams of placid domesticity are systematically satirized and ultimately demolished in the space of seven exasperating days (19 min). The Goat (1921) (With Buster Keaton and Virginia Fox) Rubbernecking through the bars of a jailhouse window, Buster's implacable face is accidentally photographed in place of the nefarious gunslinger Dead-Eye Dan, who makes his getaway in the confusion. Soon, the photograph is plastered across the front pages and on "Wanted" posters all over town, and Buster is embroiled in a chase for his life (23 min). Three Ages (1923) (With Buster Keaton, Wallace Beery, Margaret Leahy, Joe Roberts) This parody of D. W. Griffith's Intolerance follows Buster's hard-luck romantic misadventure throughout world history: from the dawn of man in the Stone Age, through the gladiatorial arenas of Ancient Rome to the streets of the American Jazz Era (63 min). My Wife's Relations (1922) (With Buster Keaton and Kate Price) A biting comedy of domestic turmoil that seems to reflect some of the tensions between Keaton and the Talmadges, his real life in-laws at the time (Natalie, his wife, and her sisters Norma and Constance, the matriarchal Hollywood clan of the day) (24 min). Our Hospitality (1923) (With Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Roberts, Joseph Keaton) Keaton stars as a New York man who returns to his Southern ante-bellum home to find himself embroiled in a long-standing feud between his family and that of the woman he loves (74 min). Sherlock Jr. (1924) (With Buster Keaton Kathryn McGuire, Joseph Keaton, Ward Crane) Keaton reached his technical and artistic pinnacle with this brilliant and hilarious story of a hapless motion picture projectionist who walks right into the screen and takes part in the imaginary detective drama unfolding (44 min). (Funded by the Bridge Program, Undergraduate Academic Affairs) (Restricted to use on University of Washington campuses only)
  • Topics: (Art: History, History: American, Motion Pictures: Features, Motion Pictures: History)