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MissGulch

Happy Birthday Buster Keaton

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"People are always telling me I'm immortal. I just might prove them right. Hell, the way I feel I just might live forever." ~Buster Keaton in 1965, when asked about retirement

 

 

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"All higher humour begins with ceasing to take oneself seriously." ~Hermann Hesse

 

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"C'est tellement simple, l'amour." ~Arletty (Les Enfants du Paradis, 1945 "Love is Simple")

 

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Miss G: Thank you for the reminder on Buster Keaton?s birthday. Keaton and Lloyd had different approaches, different sensibilities to comedy, but I consider both masters of comic pathos: both could equally break your heart with a single glance.

 

 

buster24.jpg?width=480&height=600

A Single Glance

 

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An Absolute Original

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Karin,

 

For some reason, these last few photos are not visible in the thread? Incidentally, please send me an E-mail won't you???

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Jeff,

 

Thank you for letting me know about the missing images. I'll upload them to GAOH and then repost them. I'll try to send you an email in the next day or two.

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Guest

Buster Keaton: the man was a genius and a survivor. You're with us forever, Buster....

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I apologize for the missing photos, but the source of the images (FanPix.Net) is no longer available. I'm searching for photos to replace those that have vanished.

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Kate,

 

I'll admit a couple of these photos, I have not seen before. In 1995, the old American Movie Classics ran a 24 hour Marathon of Buster for his Centennial. How times have changed , and not for the better. But many of the shorts, and some of the features I saw the for the first time back then. Prior to that, I had seen only a handful of the features and shorts. It was a remarkable event.

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Happy Birthday!

 

As you can tell by my user name, I'm quite a Buster fan and I'm glad to see other people have remembered the birthday of such a wonderful man.

 

I was privileged enough that my first encounter with Buster was "The General" and I have been smitten ever since.

 

There are so many pictures of him I like, that I wouldnt know where to begin but here's a link to a site with tons of photos.

http://silentgents.com/PKeaton.html

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Eleanor Keaton & Jeffrey Vance's book _Buster Keaton Remembered_ has some rare pics also and is my current favourite.

 

Also these...

 

_The Look of Buster Keaton_~Robert Benayoun

_The Complete Films of Buster Keaton_~Jim Kline

_The Silent Clowns_~Walter Kerr

_Silent Echoes_~John Bengtson

_Keaton_~Rudy Blesh

_Buster Keaton_~David Robinson

_The Silent Comedians_~Richard Dyer MacCann

_Keaton-The Silent Features Close Up_~Daniel Moews

_Buster Keaton-A Bio-Bibliography_~Rapf & Green

 

 

...and a treasure of a book _Buster Keaton Interviews_~edited by Kevin Sweeney, which has a 1923 interview with Buster while he was in New York for the World Series! Love this book!

 

Your library should have some of these newer bios also:

 

_Buster Keaton- Tempest in a Flat Hat_~Edward McPherson

_Buster Keaton- Cut to the Chase_~Marion Meade

_Keaton-The Man Who Wouldn't Lie Down_~Tom Dardis

 

Funny thing though, these books don't have the pictures that whistlingypsy generously posted of Buster in the shower or at home reading a book that he was, I believe, holding upside down. So Buster Keaton gets the last word and a laugh....

 

keaton-buster-photo-buster-keaton-6231545.jpg

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Thanks for that list Miss G!

I was hoping to start gettting some of the books about Buster and I didnt know where to start. I take it he didnt write an autobigraphy, right? What book is the closest to one?

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Damfinojr,

 

Actually, Keaton did have an auto-biography. MY WONDERFUL WORLD OF SLAPSTICK. I believe it was published in 1964.

 

Jeffrey Vance also co-authored a fabulous book on Harold Lloyd MASTER COMEDIAN published in 2002. A very impressive volume.

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That's wonderful gagman, thanks for letting me know!

I'm going to put My Wonderful World of Slapstick on my letter to Santa. Have you read it? I bet its great!

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_My Wonderful World of Slapstick_ definitely should be at the top of a reading list and there's so much on Youtube now, even Samuel Beckett's FILM which Keaton admitted he didn't have a clue what it was about, it's so pretentious it's goofy. There's a nice interview with Eleanor there though:

 

 

 

and This Is Your Life from 1957:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxRZW6vgx4c&feature=related

 

Charles Chaplin, Lillian Gish and Gloria Swanson wrote fascinating autobiographies. And Harold Lloyd, very early in his career, wrote _An American Comedy_ and it's surprising that he didn't keep a diary and publish more later in his interesting life.

 

...sorry to butt in, but I just love these books and I may change my username to A Chicken Named ZsaZsa.

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I can't believe I missed Buster's birthday. This is a wonderful thread. I had no idea that there were so many Buster fans out there. I recently purchased the Kino set. The films, for the most part, look like they were restored, which is really great. I also got the book Silent Echoes. At first, I thought "who cares what LA looked like in the 1920's? I live on the east coast". Then, when I started looking at the book, it turns out to be a lot of detail on the films, lots of trivia. I absolutely love this book. I recently joined the Damfinos. He was so gifted and he had such a bad period in his life. But his last marriage gave him so much joy and people rediscovered his work in his later years, so the story does have a happy ending.

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_Silent Echoes_ is a unique book to be sure and there's one for Chaplin called _Silent Traces_, also really interesting. Watching even a short sequence of Keaton's understated nonverbal humour can make my day and we are very, very lucky to have his films today, lucky us, endorphins...

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I was looking at the photo of Buster holding the daisies when I wrote the statement referring to him as "a master of comic pathos" and his ability to ?break your heart with a single glance.? I made a similar statement on GAOH and one of the members posted the following quote regarding Keaton?s comic philosophy: "You had to get sympathy for a story to hold up but I made sure I didn't ask for it. If the audience wanted to feel sorry for me that was up to them but I never asked for it in action." This quote reminded of the first time I watched my favorite Buster film, Steamboat Bill, Jr. and the reason I was so fascinated with the man. I was mesmerized and emotionally moved by his grace and agility in both body and mind, and not by a particular sentiment he conveyed. I also realized that Chaplin?s films displayed the ?comic pathos? that I was describing, and too a lesser degree Lloyd?s characters inspired such empathy. However, Keaton is one of the many reasons why I admire and enjoy the films of an era eighty and ninety years in the past.

 

 

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I think this is what Hesse had in mind when he spoke of humour and ceasing to take oneself seriously.

 

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A Well-Read Man

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*HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUSTER KEATON!*

 

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*"His footprints were never asked for, yet no one has ever filled his shoes."*

 

~Hedda Hopper in her 1952 book _From Under My Hat_ referring to D.W. Griffith and Grauman's Theatre in Hollywood. Add Keaton, Chaplin and Barthelmess to that elite group of omissions, mon Dieu! However, the wonderful American artist Al Hirschfeld remembered Mr. Keaton in 1975:

 

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And the CBC archives:

 

 

 

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...and thanks to TCM Guest Programmer Richard Lewis for his pure enthusiasm for Buster Keaton and his appreciation of the wonderful Eleanor Keaton, an angel if there ever was one. That was a very enjoyable evening a while ago:

 

Two of Lewis?s programming picks are the silent comedies *Sherlock Jr.* (1924) and *Steamboat* *Bill, Jr.* (1928), chosen because ?I?m in love with Buster Keaton.? Having seen almost all of Keaton?s films in the late 1960s, Lewis treasures the comic?s ?grace under fire? and considers him ?the greatest silent auteur.?

 

~ Buster Keaton Forever

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