Thursday, August 30, 2007

August 30th Log

1928, Buster Keaton / Charles Reisner, United States
Repeat Viewing, Turner Classic Movies

Steamboat Bill Jr is one of Buster Keaton's two or three greatest films (at least to me). It's a film that also marked the end of his independently financed silents, as the poor box office results of this and 1927's The General (now viewed by many his greatest film) forced Keaton to sign with MGM. With this change, Keaton lost the creative and artistic freedoms and it showed in much of his work following. Ultimately, Steamboat Bill Jr stands as Keaton's last great accomplishment as a Independent filmmaker. It also marks an end of the silent era. While Keaton would make two more silent films, 1927 saw the birth of sound and cinema soon and forever lost the silent era.Steamboat Bill Jr beautifully displays the essence of silent pictures: to capture emotions through visual imagery. In many ways this film is the quintessential of Keaton and of silent comedies. Keaton's usual themes are evident, as ares ome of the truly classic moments of silent comedy (most notably the legendary storm climax, which features an unforgettable sequence where the entire side of a house falls directly where Keaton is standing. He is not harmed as an open window of the house is the part that falls where Keatonis standing. Incredible!). Steamboat Bill Jr is a masterpiece! An artistic and wonderfully funny representation of a deeply skilled filmmaker who stands among the greatest in the history of cinema.


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