Narrated by Sydney Pollack, film critic Richard Schickel's dazzling two-hour plus documentary to one of the towering figures in film: Charles Chaplin. Hardcore Chaplin fans may not find ... See full summary »
In this series, we follow the life of the legendary movie comedy giant from his childhood on the stage to his film career. Along the way, we learn of the works of this genius and his methods in creating them. Furthermore, we see how events drove him to ruin and how they turned around in his later years to allow him to enjoy the acclaim that was his due. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I don't believe I've ever rented a biography before, but did so upon the suggestion of my boyfriend...he also watches "Jackass" on MTV and said that not only was Buster Keaton the first one to try all these silly, rediculous, AMAZING stunts, but that he is Jackie Chan's #1 influence. Well, this I had to see.
I was mesmerized by his early silent films. Not *just* because of the action scenes themselves, which I still can't believe he could've directed in the 20's(the train and the dummy conductor falling off railroad tracks, the woodland wildfire, whose smoke didn't go out for another 6 weeks!), but also because Buster had no precedent. There was really noone for him to look up to as far as PURELY physical humour. He was blessed with a stamina and idea that was so new and fragile that it seemed he was fervently trying to display it on-screen, before he lost the guts to do so.
That's why he was so miserable when he couldn't expel his ideas and do what he wanted later on. What a shame to have seen Buster in later movies looking sadly in an alcoholic haze...but could you blame him? How stupid and inane dialogue actually sounded in a film, more than ever before to me, when I heard Buster Keaton or his costars speaking in them. For once, I understood the beauty and mystique of silent film. Buster Keaton must've hated to see this era end.
But although sound had been added, Keaton always argued physical over lyrical humour. He is so commendable in my eyes to have impressed his fans by saying less and doing more.
This biography was not only a joy to watch and a great memorial to The Master of Physical Comedy, but it also reminded me to seize the day. That if I have an idea, no matter how funny, or crazy it is, to just DO IT. Something about Buster Keaton only having those FEW years in the 20's to shine makes you think of how little you've shined in life. At least it did for me!
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