|Sherlock Jr. plus Neighbors & The Playhouse|
Buster Keaton (USA,1924)
Buster Keaton is a projectionist who falls asleep and enters into the plot of the movie he is showing in Sherlock Jr. As impressive as the complex aesthetics of the film’s Pirandello-like format are Keaton’s brilliantly modulated acrobatics, highlighted by the famous motorcycle ride with Keaton on the handlebars unaware that the driver has fallen off.
• Directed by and Starring Buster Keaton. With Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton, Ward Crane. (1924, 42 mins, silent (music only), Print from Audio Brandon)
Plus, two Keaton shorts:
In a take-off on the Pyramus/Thisbe legend, two tenement lovers are separated by a tall, backyard slat fence. Buster nonchalantly performs acrobatic feats of daring on clotheslines, teeter-totter boards and telephone poles, before abducting his sweetheart and marrying her in the coal bin of a neighborhood judge. The short contains a blackface routine, common to the times, and some biting gibes at lower-class marriage customs.
• Directed by and Starring Buster Keaton. (1920, 17 mins, silent (music only), Print from Audio Brandon)
Keaton’s major homage to the vaudeville of his youth begins with a clever dream illusion in which he plays the audience, the orchestra and the performers of a small playhouse, an aggregate of about two dozen characterizations. When the daydreams evaporate, Buster is revealed as a lowly stagehand, who keeps the show on disaster’s edge by impersonating a performing chimpanzee, by hiring ditchdiggers as marching Zouaves and by bursting the watertank of a magician’s act.
• Directed by and Starring Buster Keaton. (1921, 20 mins, silent (music only), Print from Audio Brandon)