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Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton is so interesting. Much of his humor is very slapsticky, which doesn't appeal to me, but he's also just incredibly graceful and agile. Tonight I watched "College" and "The Electric House," and I can easily see his influence on more recent comic actors such as Chevy Chase (especially in the early SNL skits) and Jackie Chan.

Another thing I find interesting about Buster Keaton is that he was incredibly tiny, and he used this to his advantage. There are a lot of scenes of him being thrown around by escalators, larger people, etc. He could do some really amazing stuff with his body. Like Jackie Chan, he sometimes made me gasp and rewind, simply awed by his flexibility and coordination.

Oh, one other thing. When he was young, he had this very elegant, delicate, refined face. I'd never really noticed that before, but it interacts really interestingly with his humor. He just doesn't look like a comedian. And he usually kept a very straight face throughout his most outrageous slapstick.

Side note: I think the modern-day actor William Fichtner looks a lot like him.
Buster Keaton William Fichtner


Now I really want to rent "Benny and Joon" again. Johnny Depp -- amazingly enough -- does a charming Buster Keaton impression.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
xiphias
Dec. 14th, 2002 06:04 am (UTC)
I'd never really noticed that before, but it interacts really interestingly with his humor. He just doesn't look like a comedian. And he usually kept a very straight face throughout his most outrageous slapstick.
There's a reason people call him "Great Stoneface."

tamarabass
Dec. 14th, 2002 09:39 am (UTC)
Johnny Depp -- amazingly enough -- does a charming Buster Keaton impression.

Not amazing! Johnny Depp, name not withstanding, is fabulous! He's got great range and he emotes brilliantly.
Just sayin'. :)
kimberly_a
Dec. 14th, 2002 09:52 am (UTC)
I first noticed him as one of the soldiers in the movie "Platoon" ... it was a bit part, but he walked past the screen carrying a child after the burning of a village ... and I gasped. He was just so stunningly gorgeous.

And he's wonderful even when mostly mute in "Edward Scissorhands" (though I hated Winona Ryder's wig). And "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" is really quite beautiful.

So ... yeah. It's not that amazing. You're right.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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