Buster Keaton made history 100 years ago …
So much has changed about Hollywood since the 1920s, but we still value stars. And this week, 100 years ago, we were introduced to one of Hollywood's first real superstars. An actor and director who can do everything.
Buster Keaton has become synonymous with comedy and daring stunts. He was a silent film director who knew how to play the audience and an actor who took advantage of anyone's quality that is so hard to find. In his autobiography My Wonderful World of Slapstick. Keaton said, “Who wouldn't want to live a hundred years in a world where there are so many people who remember with gratitude and affection a frozen-faced little man who made them laugh a few years ago when she was and i were both young? "
Well, Keatons Debut directing production, One week, Premiered September 1, 1920. And the world of Hollywood has never been the same.
According to the Laurel & Hardy YouTube Channel, "The story is about two newlyweds, Keaton and Seely, who receive a house they have built as a wedding present. The house can supposedly be built in "a week". A rejected applicant secretly renumbered the packaging boxes. The film tells of Keaton's struggle to assemble the house according to this new "arrangement". The end result is shown in the picture. As if this wasn't enough, Keaton realizes that he built his house in the wrong place and needs to move. The film reaches its tense climax when the house gets stuck on railroad tracks. Keaton and Seely try to get it out of the way of an oncoming train that eventually passes on the neighboring track. When the couple look relieved, the house is immediately hit and demolished by another train going in the other direction. Keaton stares at the scene, places a sale sign with the pile (attach the building instructions) and walks away with Seely. "
The movie was meinspired by Self-made, An instructive short film that in 1919 told a “story of prefabricated house building” by the Ford Motor Company. This was the first time any of us had put Keaton in control of every aspect of the story.
Here he also became a stunt master, falling out the windows and turning the house on a giant lazy susan. The film was only 24 minutes long and fit two roles, but audiences everywhere were so excited that it funded his next work.
Oh, and when we want to talk about the house, he was also in control of how it looked and felt. Keaton described the house as "the craziest house you have ever seen" and stated that "every part of it was in the wrong place".
These glasses became Keaton's trademarks that echo across Hollywood. I mean, would we have Tom Cruise or Jackie Chan without Buster Keaton first?
He knew why people came to sit in front of the big screen. As Keaton himself said, “The fact is, no picture has ever been a huge hit because of its perfect lighting, wonderful backdrops or exceptional camera work. The story was always the right one, and the next star was important. "
To take a closer look at the film, check out this wonderful article by Jess Goodman.
What are some of your favorite shots from the film?
Let us know in the comments.