The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton

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9780691004426: The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton

Famous for their stunts, gags, and images, Buster Keaton's silent films have enticed everyone from Hollywood movie fans to the surrealists, such as Dalí and Buñuel. Here Robert Knopf offers an unprecedented look at the wide-ranging appeal of Keaton's genius, considering his vaudeville roots and his ability to integrate this aesthetic into the techniques of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1920s. When young Buster was being hurled about the stage by his comically irate father in the family's vaudeville act, The Three Keatons, he was perfecting his acrobatic skills, timing, visual humor, and trademark "stone face." As Knopf demonstrates, such theatrics would serve Keaton well as a film director and star. By isolating elements of vaudeville within works that have previously been considered "classical," Knopf reevaluates Keaton's films and how they function.


The book combines vivid visual descriptions and illustrations that enable us to see Keaton at work staging his memorable images and gags, such as a three-story wall collapsing on him (Steamboat Bill, Jr., 1928) and an avalanche of boulders chasing him down a mountainside (Seven Chances, 1925). Knopf explains how Keaton's stunts and gags served as fanciful departures from his films' storylines and how they nonetheless reinforced a strange sense of reality, that of a machine-like world with a mind of its own. In comparison to Chaplin and Lloyd, Keaton made more elaborate use of natural locations. The scene in The Navigator, for example, where Buster brandishes a swordfish to fend off another swordfish derives much of its power from actually being shot under water. Such "hyper-literalism" was but one element of Keaton's films that inspired the surrealists.


Exploring Keaton's influence on Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, Federico García Lorca, and Robert Desnos, Knopf suggests that Keaton's achievement extends beyond Hollywood into the avant-garde. The book concludes with an examination of Keaton's late-career performances in Gerald Potterton's The Railrodder and Samuel Beckett's Film, and locates his legacy in the work of Jackie Chan, Blue Man Group, and Bill Irwin.

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Review:

Readers of James Agee's agile and marvelously brief essay from 1949, "Comedy's Greatest Era," remember the lyric forcefulness of the paragraphs on Buster Keaton, their acute sense of his harrowing acrobatics and ennui. In contrast, Robert Knopf's sober study of the Great Stone Face, for all its scrupulousness, looks like a footnote to Agee. His argument is not uninteresting: in Knopf's view, the family vaudeville act (called The Three Keatons) affected Buster's work forever. Out of it Keaton developed his hallmark style, an original combination of the high and the low reminiscent of Samuel Beckett and embraced by Salvador Dalì and Luis Buñuel. Knopf also maintains that a generation of commentators mugged Keaton's movies when they falsely celebrated his "classical Hollywood style." Keaton--the virtuoso acrobat, master of long shots, and ransacker of vaudeville rhythms and routines--pursues anti-narrative impulses that belong to a pre-1917 "cinema of attractions," to absurd theater and surrealism. These styles deflect attention from the plot to Buster's wringing stillness, his flat hat and flap shoes, his elaborately rigged Rube Goldberg stunts. Knopf's thesis is a narrow one, but it is solidly researched and probably true. His prose is another matter. Almost immaculately arid and inflexible, it utterly fails the improvisatory comic who could do so much with so little--for example, love: in a crowd scene in The Cameraman, Keaton leans his body so far leftward toward a girl that you wonder at his pact with gravity. --Lyall Bush

From the Inside Flap:

"The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton will be valued by anyone who wants to remain on top of contemporary scholarship about film comedy and will be treasured by the legion of film buffs who want to know more about the classics of slapstick."--Henry Jenkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic

"This engaging book provides a fresh synthesis in its argument about why we should value Keaton's films."--Charles J. Maland, University of Tennessee, author of Chaplin and American Culture: The Evolution of a Star Image

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Robert Knopf
Editorial: Princeton University Press (1999)
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0691004420

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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Famous for their stunts, gags, and images, Buster Keaton s silent films have enticed everyone from Hollywood movie fans to the surrealists, such as Dali and Bunuel. Here Robert Knopf offers an unprecedented look at the wide-ranging appeal of Keaton s genius, considering his vaudeville roots and his ability to integrate this aesthetic into the techniques of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1920s. When young Buster was being hurled about the stage by his comically irate father in the family s vaudeville act, The Three Keatons, he was perfecting his acrobatic skills, timing, visual humor, and trademark stone face. As Knopf demonstrates, such theatrics would serve Keaton well as a film director and star. By isolating elements of vaudeville within works that have previously been considered classical, Knopf reevaluates Keaton s films and how they function. The book combines vivid visual descriptions and illustrations that enable us to see Keaton at work staging his memorable images and gags, such as a three-story wall collapsing on him (Steamboat Bill, Jr., 1928) and an avalanche of boulders chasing him down a mountainside (Seven Chances, 1925). Knopf explains how Keaton s stunts and gags served as fanciful departures from his films storylines and how they nonetheless reinforced a strange sense of reality, that of a machine-like world with a mind of its own. In comparison to Chaplin and Lloyd, Keaton made more elaborate use of natural locations. The scene in The Navigator, for example, where Buster brandishes a swordfish to fend off another swordfish derives much of its power from actually being shot under water. Such hyper-literalism was but one element of Keaton s films that inspired the surrealists. Exploring Keaton s influence on Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Robert Desnos, Knopf suggests that Keaton s achievement extends beyond Hollywood into the avant-garde. The book concludes with an examination of Keaton s late-career performances in Gerald Potterton s The Railrodder and Samuel Beckett s Film, and locates his legacy in the work of Jackie Chan, Blue Man Group, and Bill Irwin. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780691004426

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Descripción Princeton University Press 8/22/1999, 1999. Paperback or Softback. Estado de conservación: New. The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería BBS-9780691004426

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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Famous for their stunts, gags, and images, Buster Keaton s silent films have enticed everyone from Hollywood movie fans to the surrealists, such as Dali and Bunuel. Here Robert Knopf offers an unprecedented look at the wide-ranging appeal of Keaton s genius, considering his vaudeville roots and his ability to integrate this aesthetic into the techniques of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1920s. When young Buster was being hurled about the stage by his comically irate father in the family s vaudeville act, The Three Keatons, he was perfecting his acrobatic skills, timing, visual humor, and trademark stone face. As Knopf demonstrates, such theatrics would serve Keaton well as a film director and star. By isolating elements of vaudeville within works that have previously been considered classical, Knopf reevaluates Keaton s films and how they function. The book combines vivid visual descriptions and illustrations that enable us to see Keaton at work staging his memorable images and gags, such as a three-story wall collapsing on him (Steamboat Bill, Jr., 1928) and an avalanche of boulders chasing him down a mountainside (Seven Chances, 1925). Knopf explains how Keaton s stunts and gags served as fanciful departures from his films storylines and how they nonetheless reinforced a strange sense of reality, that of a machine-like world with a mind of its own. In comparison to Chaplin and Lloyd, Keaton made more elaborate use of natural locations. The scene in The Navigator, for example, where Buster brandishes a swordfish to fend off another swordfish derives much of its power from actually being shot under water. Such hyper-literalism was but one element of Keaton s films that inspired the surrealists. Exploring Keaton s influence on Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Robert Desnos, Knopf suggests that Keaton s achievement extends beyond Hollywood into the avant-garde. The book concludes with an examination of Keaton s late-career performances in Gerald Potterton s The Railrodder and Samuel Beckett s Film, and locates his legacy in the work of Jackie Chan, Blue Man Group, and Bill Irwin. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780691004426

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Robert Knopf
Editorial: Princeton University Press, United States (1999)
ISBN 10: 0691004420 ISBN 13: 9780691004426
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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Famous for their stunts, gags, and images, Buster Keaton s silent films have enticed everyone from Hollywood movie fans to the surrealists, such as Dali and Bunuel. Here Robert Knopf offers an unprecedented look at the wide-ranging appeal of Keaton s genius, considering his vaudeville roots and his ability to integrate this aesthetic into the techniques of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1920s. When young Buster was being hurled about the stage by his comically irate father in the family s vaudeville act, The Three Keatons, he was perfecting his acrobatic skills, timing, visual humor, and trademark stone face. As Knopf demonstrates, such theatrics would serve Keaton well as a film director and star. By isolating elements of vaudeville within works that have previously been considered classical, Knopf reevaluates Keaton s films and how they function. The book combines vivid visual descriptions and illustrations that enable us to see Keaton at work staging his memorable images and gags, such as a three-story wall collapsing on him (Steamboat Bill, Jr., 1928) and an avalanche of boulders chasing him down a mountainside (Seven Chances, 1925). Knopf explains how Keaton s stunts and gags served as fanciful departures from his films storylines and how they nonetheless reinforced a strange sense of reality, that of a machine-like world with a mind of its own. In comparison to Chaplin and Lloyd, Keaton made more elaborate use of natural locations. The scene in The Navigator, for example, where Buster brandishes a swordfish to fend off another swordfish derives much of its power from actually being shot under water. Such hyper-literalism was but one element of Keaton s films that inspired the surrealists. Exploring Keaton s influence on Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Robert Desnos, Knopf suggests that Keaton s achievement extends beyond Hollywood into the avant-garde. The book concludes with an examination of Keaton s late-career performances in Gerald Potterton s The Railrodder and Samuel Beckett s Film, and locates his legacy in the work of Jackie Chan, Blue Man Group, and Bill Irwin. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780691004426

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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2017. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Nº de ref. de la librería 0691004420

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Descripción Princeton University Press, 1999. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IQ-9780691004426

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