Buster Keaton - The Art of the Gag
November 21, 2015 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter favorite Tony Zhou is back with a video about everybody's favorite visual comedian, Buster Keaton.

But not all of his stuff was fun, especially when he got together with Samuel Becket.

posted by nushustu (12 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
But not all of his stuff was fun, especially when he got together with with Samuel Becket.

I didn't see it in there anywhere, but he also did this in 1965.
posted by lagomorphius at 1:59 PM on November 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

...And Buster Keaton Rides Again (1965) — A Canadian film documenting the making of "The Railrodder"
posted by growabrain at 2:19 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

This video was great.

On twitter Zhou indicated that he intends at some point to do a video about Jacques Tati, which I can't wait for.
posted by kenko at 2:53 PM on November 21, 2015 [4 favorites]

Also, Buster Keaton previously. I am a total Keaton fanboy. No, NOT Michael or Diane.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:20 PM on November 21, 2015

Another Keaton fanboy here. It's just astounding how well his stuff holds up after almost a century.
posted by octothorpe at 3:35 PM on November 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

At first I thought he already did one on Keaton but then I remembered it was on Jackie Chan.
So I'm quite curious whether these two videos will differ that much... ;)

(I love both of them and the one always reminds me a bit of the other.)
posted by bigendian at 3:36 PM on November 21, 2015

Not only should gags be filmed in a full shot but so should dances and fight scenes. I just saw the latest Hunger Games and it was as technically competent as you'd expect a big budget franchise finale to be but boy did the fight scenes suck. You could never tell who was doing what or where anyone was in relation to each other.
posted by octothorpe at 3:46 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Man, how is it that some of these Keaton gags are STILL better than anything you'd see in a movie today?
posted by selfnoise at 4:59 PM on November 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

I really can't believe Keaton managed to live through all those ridiculous stunts he did. Dude was incredibly lucky.
posted by flatluigi at 5:06 PM on November 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

O O O O that Buster Keaton gag
It's so elegant, so intelligent.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:27 PM on November 21, 2015

The conventional wisdom is that kids won’t watch black and white movies… start them out young on Keaton and they will sit still for B&W silent movies.

Harold Loyd comes close to the attractive power of Keaton, and I suspect that Fatty Arbuckle would work too (Chaplin is great, but in my experience he doesn’t work quite as well, as the emphasis on pathos doesn’t play as well for young kids as beautifully timed slapstick).

The downside is that, after Keaton, they work their way to the Marx Brothers, and then life is never quite the same.

The Tony Zhou video is great, as usual. Note that the interviewer in the audio clips when BK is explaining his techniques is Studs Terkel (but then it would be).
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:04 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was in a sold out showing of The General a few years ago that had a ton of little kids in the theater and they loved it. Props go to the Alloy Orchestra who were doing a live accompaniment but Keaton's work is still very accessible to a wide audience.
posted by octothorpe at 4:44 AM on November 22, 2015

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