A Master of Physical Comedy.
Comedy always helps in times of distress. This being the case, why not revisit (or visit for the first time) a genius of the trade?
Buster Keaton was one of the very top masters of comedy in the silent era. The list of the other ones would include surely Charles Chaplin. But now is time for Buster. I’m not going to waste your time using adjectives to define his greatness. I will do something much more simple: to ask you to watch the link below, just 5 minutes long.
Physical Comedy at its Best.
The Silent Era got the best out of filmmakers.
In my times in film school, in our 3rd term, we would make a silent film (not really, we could use sound but we did not record synch sound). So the actors, unless your choice was to dub them, wouldn’t really speak. That sprung so many visual solutions from students! But then 4th term came. We were allowed to use synch sound there. Suddenly our films became dull, obvious, boring and full of characters saying unimportant things.
Buster films are about visuals, about amazing and very dangerous stunts. It’s simply unbelievable this guy was able to do what he did.
Just watch the following scene from Seven Chances, Is there any actor alive who would even dare to do all this? Because Buster really did it all. 4 minutes 34 seconds of sheer visual comedy.
A Jack of All Trades.
Keaton directed, produced, acted and did his own stunts. He produced many short and feature films.
I leave you with my favourite feature of his, The General. If I already managed to convince you of this artist’s greatness, I’m positive you will watch it… I get the feeling that you will thank me for that.
More on Film Acting? Check Michael Caine On Acting For The Screen, No Small Parts, Goodbye to a Master of Acting, Max Von Sydow, ON SCREEN ACTING According to Edward Dmytryk (and Jean Porter), Joseph Cotten, a Great Autobiography and On Directing: An Elia Kazan’s Masterclass.