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Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy. And nearly 100 years after he first appeared onscreen, we’re still learning from him. Today, I’d like to talk about the artistry (and the thinking) behind his gags. Press the CC button to see the names of the films.

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“His stunts and acrobatics are never merely stunts and acrobatics… Buster’s stunts are unique because he was always an actor and comedian first. As he puts it simply, “stuntmen don’t get laughs.” Buster was never content to wow audiences with his athleticism; he used his incredible balance, agility and muscular control to communicate; to tell a story with his body.“

Buster Keaton: The Persistance of Comedy

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Because he was funny, because he wore a porkpie had, Keaton’s physical skills are often undervalued … no silent star did more dangerous stunts than Buster Keaton. Instead of using doubles, he himself doubled for his actors, doing their stunts as well as his own - Roger Ebert

All my life, I have been happiest when the folks watching me said to each other, “Look at the poor dope, will ya? - Buster Keaton

Happy 120th Birthday, Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966)

Colored BK by historyincolour (x)