Friday, 25 September 2015
This is only my second foray into silent comedy and, a couple of programmes presented by Paul Merton which I saw many years ago aside, my first experience of the great Buster Keaton. I've no idea whether this film is particularly well-regarded or not: I just happened to see it.
This is very much like a Warner Brothers cartoon, or rather Warner Brothers cartoons are very much like this: the laws of physics are very much the same, and trees even a company called Acme. I very much get the sense, though, that behind the humour lies the harshness of life for the have-nots of the early twentieth century. The physical comedy is masterful: Keaton himself is a comic genius, and the slapstick is awesomely choreographed and arranged. I can see why, on this evidence, that visual comedy has never reached these heights since the advent of sound.
And yet.. this sort of humour isn't really my thing. Still, I'll try a few more silent comedies before I write them off.