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Buster Keaton (1895 – 1966)


American actor and filmmaker, often called The Great Stone Face, he was the first person ever called "Buster", acquiring the nickname from Harry Houdini who saw him take a fall down some stairs as an infant.
Buster Keaton
For me its Buster Keaton's face, with maybe his little hat on... It's being able to look into his eyes and see that sad face.
Keaton quotes
The funny thing about our act is that dad gets the worst of it, although I'm the one who apparently receives the bruises … the secret is in landing limp and breaking the fall with a foot or a hand. It's a knack. I started so young that landing right is second nature with me. Several times I'd have been killed if I hadn't been able to land like a cat. Imitators of our act don't last long, because they can't stand the treatment.
Keaton
He was doing stuff that was surreal.




Keaton Buster quotes
No other comedian could do as much with the dead-pan. He used this great, sad, motionless face to suggest various related things; a one track mind near the track’s end of pure insanity; mulish imperturbability under the wildest of circumstances; how dead a human being can get and still be alive; an awe-inspiring sort of patience and power to endure, proper to granite but uncanny in flesh and blood.
Keaton Buster
Charlie Chaplin and I would have a friendly contest: Who could do the feature film with the least subtitles?
Buster Keaton quotes
I just want that one day, when I retire, that people still remember me like they remember Buster. I really want someone to respect me the way they respect Buster.
Buster Keaton
We used to get arrested every other week — that is, the old man would get arrested.
Keaton Buster quotes
If one more person tells me this is just like old times, I swear I'll jump out the window.
Keaton
Buster Keaton... will be around forever, because it's unlikely that human beings will ever go out-of-date the way special effects do. Keaton running and clambering onto a moving Civil War train in The General is infinitely more exciting than Christian Slater jumping from a helicopter onto a speeding locomotive in Broken Arrow because what Keaton does is real, and the camera captures and preserves his feats for posterity. In Broken Arrow we never see Slater (or the stuntman, for that matter) leaping from the helicopter to the train. Instead there are several cuts, and we must suspend our disbelief and assume that the feat has been accomplished. Which means that it's no feat at all.
Keaton Buster
Maybe the trouble is that modern comics strive too hard to be sophisticated and knowing. What we've lost over the years is innocence and, as Keaton and company prove, innocence is an integral part of comedy.
Buster Keaton
It's said that Chaplin wanted you to like him, but Keaton didn't care. I think he cared, but was too proud to ask. His films avoid the pathos and sentiment of the Chaplin pictures, and usually feature a jaunty young man who sees an objective and goes for it in the face of the most daunting obstacles. Buster survives tornados, waterfalls, avalanches of boulders, and falls from great heights, and never pauses to take a bow: He has his eye on his goal. And his movies, seen as a group, are like a sustained act of optimism in the face of adversity; surprising, how without asking, he earns our admiration and tenderness.
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.




Buster Keaton quotes
I could tell you that those wonderful stories were 90% Buster's... I was often ashamed to take the money, much less the credit.
Buster Keaton
What a creative genius — what an inventor… A guy like that, you just sit back and say, okay, I'll never get there!
Keaton quotes
One who never smiled, carried a face as still and sad as a daguerreotype through some of the most preposterously ingenious and visually satisfying comedy ever invented. That was Buster Keaton.
Keaton Buster
What Keaton did physically, is actually quite startling when you discover that he did all of his own stunts… The famous one is when the house falls. He had to stand on a mark. I'm told it was a nail — if he moved an inch to one side he would have been crushed to death.
Keaton Buster quotes
With his dark, sensitive looks, his face in repose evoking years of quiet contemplation, he resembled a mixture of Buddhist monk and fashion model. He offered the ideal face and acting style for motion pictures, proving less is more. He would become a master of knowing when to do nothing at all.
Buster Keaton
Watch his beautiful, compact body as it pirouettes or pretzels in tortured permutations or, even more elegantly, stands in repose as everything goes crazy around it. Watch his mind as it contemplates a hostile universe whose violent whims Buster understands, withstands and, miraculously, tames. Watch his camera taking his picture (Keaton directed or supervised all his best films); it is as cool as the star it captured in its glass... The medium was still in its infancy; comics were pioneering the craft of making people laugh at moving images. Keaton, it turns out, knew it all — intuitively.
Buster Keaton quotes
The older Keaton got, the more one could see eternity in his look.
Buster Keaton
The screen was just a white sheet. They had this flickering machine. That was the first time I saw this angel with a white face and these beautiful eyes. I knew this was something special. It was the first time I saw Keaton. He wore a flat pancake of a hat, and I just couldn't believe the man's grace.
Keaton Buster
Perhaps because ‘dry’ comedy is so much more rare and odd than ‘dry’ wit, there are people that never much cared for Keaton. Those who do cannot care mildly.


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