22 Burst results for "Buster Keaton"

"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

Filmspotting

06:26 min | 5 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

"Hiatus, but it is time to return to our Buster Keaton marathon. These film spotty marathons, they give us a chance to fill in some cinematic blind spots, sometimes we devote them to an actor or a director sometimes we explore regional cinema or a particular genre. Buster Keaton Adam, not really a blind spot for us, but this marathon is definitely giving us a chance to catch up with a few of Keaton's shorts and features we may have missed and to revisit some titles definitely worth revisiting. I think we can include this week's film in that category 1924 Sherlock junior, don't remember the first time I saw it, but for you, would it have been college earlier? I think maybe back in a film class in college and certainly by the time I got to a slightly more advanced film class where I watched Keaton and Chaplin films and that whole class was about those filmmakers being in dialog with each other, we definitely watched Sherlock junior again there. So a movie I've been a fan of for quite some time. And before we really dive in, we want to credit the inspiration for this marathon. Dana Stevens, the film critic over at slate. She has a new book about Keaton cameraman, Buster Keaton, the dawn of cinema and the invention of the 20th century. It came out to great acclaim earlier this year, and yet Dana took the time to help us curate our marathon lineup, best of all. She's gonna be joining us for a live event coming soon. June 5th, here in Chicago at the music box theater, we're gonna close out the marathon and actually watch the cameraman, the final film in our lineup on the big screen there at that beautiful theater, more details and tickets going on sale very, very soon. But now, some Sherlock junior talk, we started the marathon with a few of his two real or shorts, one week, the scarecrow, the playhouse and cops. Those were made between 1920 and 22. We followed that with 1920 threes our hospitality, a mix of melodrama and slapstick that featured some incredible Keaton stunts. And now we get to the film that most people do agree is Keaton's first masterpiece and the movie that saw him explore the limits of what he could do, not just with his body, but with the camera as well. The flimsy plot that all this technical wizardry hangs on. And we'll talk about the structure because while the plot might be relatively flimsy, narratively, this is such a tight film. Keaton is a movie projectionist who wants to be a detective and he gets to put his detective skills to work when a rival frames him for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocket watch or at least that's how he gets to put his detective skills to work within the construct of the film that he enters after taking a little nap up in the projection booth. You use the M word masterpiece earlier in this episode, Joshua teasing this conversation. I'm guessing you weren't teasing us about Sherlock junior, you feel that strongly about it? Oh man, can I throw out another maybe overused, but I think apt word here when it comes to film criticism and that's genius. I mean, this is, this is my sort of genius. I love the Kubrick stuff. I love the tarkovsky stuff. The sort of genius you're never going to get to the bottom of, right? But there's something particularly wizard like and ingenious about a filmmaker who can offer this meta commentary on film form. And specifically, I think maybe editing will get into. You know, the power of editing, what it can do. What it means for characters, what it means for audiences just a simple cut, how it can just change the world. So doing all that, and just delivering hilarious, simple gags. I mean, I referenced joked about banana peel stunts in the northmen. That's because there is one here. I'm not saying it's the movie's best gag. But he pulls it off. It's even actually kind of one that takes you by surprise. You think you know what's going to happen and it happens differently, even for an old time gag like that. But there are other things other jokes, physical comedy, that are seemingly simple, really aren't take extreme talent and thought to pull off, but feel light. Feel light on their feet, while at the same time, as I said, delivering this sort of heavy consideration of film farm that also miraculously feels light. That's my kind of genius. That's what I love. That's something I can giggle at and then come away later thinking, oh my goodness, what was that actually like how does that make me think about how I watch movies and how they're made? That's my stuff. This is just, this is it, man. Yeah, I am with you completely. And of course, also as a fan of the Woody Allen movie that was heavily influenced by this film, the purple rose of Cairo. It's fun to think of that movie in connection to Sherlock junior and also I was thinking today about something like The Wizard of Oz even. This movie coming, you know, 15 years before that. And that whole idea of blending the real world with the fantasy world. You know, she goes in. She goes into her dream and she pulls in all the people from the farm that she lives on into this fantasy, just like he pulls all the people from his real life escapade into the fantasy sequence, the movie sequence as well. And we're definitely going to talk more about the wizardry of the stunts and some of the film techniques on display, but this was also just fun seeing Keaton as the Keaton we're used to so far as this kind of unintentional agent of chaos. He's usually thrown into the chaos as we've talked about. He's not usually trying to do anything wrong, if you will, and he's mostly an ineffectual character. He may win out in the end. But he's someone who is kind of surviving in there by accident more than someone who really is exerting his own agency on the circumstances that surround him. And often being pushed around by rivals. And we get that Keaton, but the conceit of the movie also allows us to see a more heroic Keaton as that detective, the world's greatest detective, who evades every trap. And who is clearly the most incredible billiards player the world has ever seen. You know, Sophie was watching this movie with me..

Keaton Sherlock Buster Keaton Buster Keaton Adam Dana Stevens Chaplin Dana Chicago Joshua Woody Allen The Wizard of Oz Cairo billiards Sophie
"buster keaton" Discussed on Under the Influence with Terry O'Reilly

Under the Influence with Terry O'Reilly

02:21 min | 6 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Under the Influence with Terry O'Reilly

"One of his most famous stunts was in the 1924 movie, Sherlock junior. In the scene, he is running along the top of a moving train. He gets off by grabbing the spout of a water tower, releasing a huge torrent of water that sends him crashing to the ground. Exactly as planned, except the intensity of the water blasts smashed his neck against the train rail. But what is remarkable is that you see Buster Keaton jump back up onto his feet in the very same footage with no edits. He suffered severe headaches for several days after, but kept working on the film. When he eventually went for x-rays, it was revealed he had broken his neck. Buster Keaton was virtually indestructible. He made 152 films from 1917 to 1966 and survived them all. He was the king of the stunts. There are two kinds of stunts in Hollywood. One happens in the film, and the other happens outside the film. The latter are called publicity stunts. Movies and celebrities need precedent. And one of the best ways to attract press was with publicity stunts. Hollywood perfected the art of the publicity spectacle way back in the era of Buster Keaton. And the key to a successful stunt is to be outrageous. You're under the influence. The Hollywood publicity stunt has been around for a long time. Many film historians point to Harry reichenbach as the pioneer of motion picture publicity spectacles. Born in 1882, reichenbach.

Buster Keaton Sherlock Hollywood headaches Harry reichenbach reichenbach
"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

Filmspotting

03:42 min | 7 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

"Little bit fat. Carol Burnett there with Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters in 1980 twos Annie, which had way more fans based on feedback than I ever thought. It was written by Thomas me and Carol sobieski, directed by John Huston, wow, totally forgot, yes, directed by that, John Huston, along with that massacre, we did our top 5 Stephen Sondheim moments. So why that scene from Annie? Well, here's trip Burton. He's in woodridge, Illinois. The answer to masker theater is Annie, the connection could be that, like all of the films made of Sondheim's musicals as a full composer, it is tone deaf overstuffed and a slog to get through. Ouch. Ouch, indeed. I think though I'm going to interpret that not as a jab at Sondheim, but at the adaptations of Sondheim, fair Josh. Yeah. Yeah, I think that's where he's gone. The connection could also be that the song in the film is sung by three Sondheim veterans, Bernadette Peters, perhaps the greatest interpreter of Sondheim's music alive, Carol Burnett, who starred in both follies and concert and putting it together and Tim Curry, whose performance of losing my mind in concert is legendary. The real connection, however, is the film Mars attacks. What? Are you ready? Are you ready for this job? You just got my attention. But I'm back with you. I know. You're back on an episode where Josh discusses being a Tim Burton acolyte throughout the 90s and 2000s. You were obviously referencing the ending of the divisive film where the invading Martians can only be defeated by slim Whitman's yodeling, Indian love call, which Adam Josh and Michael all definitely paid homage to in their musical number. Film spotting has brought me much comfort over the years, and now I can add that if little green men ever come barging through my front door, I can take out the earbuds on episode 8 60 and my life will be saved. It ain't fair. How we scrounge with three or four bucks. When she gets Starbucks. The little brat. Look in those. That good. Fantastic. All right, here's Dave Allen from Bonnie Lake, Washington. It's Annie. I love that you pushed out of your comfort zone and tried something different. Kudos to you, but please never do it again. Some of us listen to the show while driving. Sorry, Dave. Joy Piedmont in New York City says Annie is kind of a terrible movie with great song and dance numbers. I watched it a lot as a kid. And recently realized that what I love about it is the magic of people singing and dancing. I'm with you, joy, right before we taped. I was talking to Michael. I told him we were doing Annie for mask or theater. And he just started slagging the film. And it really was like, he was destroying my childhood. And I am fully willing to admit that Annie probably is actually a bad movie, but I watched it so many times when I was 6, 7 years old, that I just don't want to believe it. I'm going to refuse to believe it. And we really did get a few emails in saying they loved Annie as well. So I think there's a strong nostalgia factor with this obviously terrible movie. One last comment here from Marie pero right here in Chicago. It's true I've never seen a good movie version of this show, but as a kid, I saw the original Annie on Broadway and I remember easy street brought down the house. Yeah, our easy street brought down the house in a buster key kind of way. Josh reach into the pretty brimming film spotting hat and pick out this week's winner. Our winner is Kelsey Hamilton in Washington, D.C.. Congratulations Kelsey email feedback at film spotting .NET and we will set you up with your very own film spotting T-shirt. Master theater now, sadly, going on its annual hiatus to make room for film spotting madness. Speaking of which..

Sondheim Annie John Huston Bernadette Peters Tim Curry Carol Burnett Carol sobieski masker theater Josh Adam Josh Stephen Sondheim woodridge Bonnie Lake Joy Piedmont Burton Tim Burton Thomas Illinois Dave Allen Whitman
"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

Filmspotting

06:13 min | 7 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

"Is a great one in cops. And it is, in addition to the one you mentioned, where at this point, he has haphazardly unwittingly tossed that bomb after lighting his cigarette, right? He uses the fuse to light his cigarette, doesn't realize what it is, just tosses it and it explodes in the midst of this policeman parade. So the rest of the short 60, a hundred policemen are chasing him. And at one point, he goes up a ladder, that's against a wall that ends. It's like, you know, ends about maybe 12 feet up. And so the ladder starts to tip and you get a teeter totter gag. So he's trying to balance it. Cops find him, grab the ladder at one end, pull it down, cops on the other end of the wall, can't see the others, so they grab the other end and it's kind of this ongoing teeter totter thing, which I think is just fantastic. But did cops strike you as kind of dark? I mean, maybe it's obvious we're talking about bombs being thrown at police and it's all played for a comic effect, but wow, the more and more Keaton circled around this city, being chased by an increasing number of uniformed policemen. Maybe I'm just looking this through looking at this through political 2022 eyes, but I wonder if there's a little commentary here about the overzealousness of law enforcement and how yes there's a guy who as far as they know is like a prime suspect that needs to be captured, but just the fact that we're getting a hundred policemen increasingly irate chasing after him did make me kind of see it that way and it kind of ends on a dark note too in terms of what actually happens to our hero who, you know, in the other features makes it out, okay, pretty much okay by the end, not so much here. Yeah, I think that sense of exploring the exploited and thumbing his nose at authority is something we see from Keaton in some of these films and we'll probably see more of throughout this marathon. I go back to one week and the scarecrow for my other favorite gag candidates. We've already seen at one point where buster has walked through a room and opened a door that if this place was constructed properly, should take him into another room. And of course, it just takes him head over heels into the grass. He falls basically down because there's nothing there to catch him. And so we've seen that, which means we know that when that door gets opened again by another character that they're going to go right out onto the grass just like buster does. And I think that there's something to that as well that that math being done by the audience when we know something's coming because it's been set up before. Even in cops, it's really close together, but you mentioned the bomb. The way that's handled where I think the order is we see someone on a rooftop holding a bomb, like they're about to throw it. And we see buster in the front of his carriage, trying to light a cigarette and have nothing to light it with. And so you know, before buster does, that what's going to happen next is that bomb's going to land there and he's going to use it to light his cigarette. So I like that moment in one week. And I also really like the moment where at the end, he's trying to drag the car, he's trying to drag the house with his car across the lot to where he should park his house. And the rope breaks. So he tries to nail it. He nails his car seat to the house, and he's going to drive and pull it like he's toeing it. And of course, we don't think this is going to work, but what we don't expect is exactly what happens, which is the top part of the car stays attached. At the bottom, rolls away. And it's actually a repeat in a way of a gag earlier in the film, right? Day one of building the house, where he's doing some sawing of a board. On top. And he puts the nail in and then he tries to cut a piece and actually, in that instance, he successfully cuts it, but goes down with the board. Can I just say one of the reasons I love one week so much, I think, is because my handyman skills are very similar to Buster Keaton's. I just assumed, I mean, a nail, you just nail something in and that's solves everything, right? And no, not quite everything is a disaster. I would never have been able to put that house together either. Yeah, who knows? He may read directions better than I do. We'll never know because the boxes got switched on him, right? That's true. The other one I was going to mention was just from the scarecrow. Where he runs around the top of the ruined house. Oh, but how about the dog? The dog chasing him. Every part of that is just insanely brilliant. Blue dog, the dog. The dog changing direction and going after him and you see the big gaps and you think, well, they'll never be able to cross those, and of course they glide right over them. That was so inspired. And what about that moment with the scarecrow? As well, where he acts like the scarecrow is being chased. It's really good. And he puts on the clothes and he poses just like a scarecrow and fools them for a little bit anyway. That kind of physicality, even though I suppose it's a little ironic that he's actually being still in that moment, but he's so perfectly replicating how a scarecrow looks that it is believable and it's no different than in some of these other films that we watched where he's acting like a horse. He's acting like an orangutan. He is acting in a very machine like way. A lot of times, that's where Keaton's physicality really comes through. So I want to give a word of encouragement to anyone who's listening and has not yet committed to watching some of these or wants to play along with the marathon. I don't know why you'd be listening now, maybe it's only those people have already bought in, but really I have found these to be incredibly stress relieving. And maybe.

Keaton buster Buster Keaton
"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

Filmspotting

04:57 min | 7 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

"But in this case, he had mentioned Keaton himself that he only really did that because the line in the playhouse where a Keaton character says something like, well, this Keaton guy sure seems to do at all was actually a jab at another director from the time who loved to list himself as everything in the credits. And so he listed a co director just so that it wouldn't look hypocritical. Like he was giving himself all the credit for making this film. But yeah, I saw it as more of a fantasy where, oh, he now gets to play out all of these roles. And you're right, that sequence where he's the composer. And then in each part of the pit, I think there's three versions of Keaton on each side doing the playing. And then we get that trick photography of that duet dance with himself that's perfectly in sync and really fun to watch. And I was also thinking while watching this, you were thinking about the Muppets, probably this will be the last time, maybe it won't, but it could be the last time we mentioned, I don't know. Coming to America or the nutty professor movies aren't those the movies that Eddie Murphy remake, Josh, that a professor. But this is a precursor to all of that. This is Keaton playing like 20 different roles. Some of them he looks like Buster Keaton, but in other cases he's playing men, he's playing women. He's playing young characters. He's playing old characters. This really is inventive. I think a little bit more beyond the trick photography. It's more inventive in all the different ways we get to see Keaton play with character. Yeah. And probably a good point to mention that this is also an instance of Keaton in blackface or employing blackface in one of his shorts. And Dana, in her book, really delves into sort of the tradition of that. And how Keaton would have encountered it in his vaudeville days as a kid. And other stars African American stars of the time who were working on the stage and then eventually in screen. So that's another really great sort of side channel that Dana goes down in her book that I would recommend why people should pick that up. But yeah, I think this one is, there is so much going on and that adds to the anxiousness too. Just this activity and the fact that it is all emanating from this one performer. Now you mentioned Eddie Klein. I think the credits here are Edward F Klein. Actually, credited as co writer and co director on all four of these shorts, which is which is really interesting. And you know, we often think at least the first time I started thinking of Keaton, I thought of a more just as a star. And it wasn't until I started actually watching some of this stuff and realizing how much of a hand he had in it, but also at least for the shorts that we're considering today had a key collaborator incline as a co writer and co director. We have talked about all of the shorts so far except really cops and maybe a way to get in to cops would be for me to ask you if you had a favorite gag throughout these four films. One particular standout moment in terms of the comedy. And cops has a contender for me, even though it's relatively subtle, or it's relatively common in terms of this type of gag, we see in Keaton's work. We see in these four films, it's really the start of cops, where he is interacting with a rich man, and I don't remember the exact sequence, but I think it's a series of three kind of little tricks that happen with this guy where he fools him and kind of ends up with his wallet, and then he ends up giving the wallet back, but he's got his cash, and then the guy wants his cash back, and he gets in a cab, but the next thing you know, buster's the one who's actually gotten in the cab and taken his seat. In all three instances, he has managed to get the upper hand on the guy. And that repetition of the gag. The constant surprise of it just when you think you've gotten the joke and then buster adds a second part and then he adds a third part on top of it that was one of the standout ones for me. Yeah, it's really good and ties into really the first third of cops, which is mostly about the way money and possessions can be easy come, easy go, 'cause after that sequence, buster gets tricked, right? A guy tricks him into giving that money away to buy this furniture, which doesn't even belong to that guy, belongs to this family who's moving and has put it out on the sidewalk. So yeah, it's this kind of rotating gag where he is the instigator in some ways, but then becomes the victim, just a few seconds later. Maybe my favorite gag would probably go back to one week and it is the train smashing the house at the very end. I mean, again, it goes just back to the river a scale of it..

Keaton Dana Eddie Klein Edward F Klein Buster Keaton Eddie Murphy Josh America buster
"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

Filmspotting

06:06 min | 7 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Filmspotting

"Will cover Keaton's best known features, some of the titles you've already heard, like steamboat Bill junior, Sherlock junior, the general. But we are starting by taking a look at a few of his shorts all four of them made between 1920 and 1923, a very productive period that saw Keaton write direct and star in over 20 short films. In her book, Dana puts these films in the context of a hugely destabilizing time in American and world history. So it's only a couple of years removed from the end of World War I and a global influenza epidemic which killed tens of millions worldwide and hundreds of thousands in the U.S.. The passage in 1918 and 1919 of the 18th and 19th amendments, the first of those amendments initiated the prohibition era, the second gave women the right to vote. Dana also puts Keaton in the company of other lost generation artists who helped to define the era so she discusses F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Hemingway, Bessie Smith, and Martha Graham, and touches also on international artists like Luis bunuel and Bertolt Brecht. Dana makes the case that these artists Keaton made work that reflects an era of pervasive anxiety and a desire to remake and reinvent a broken world from the ground up. Invention Adam probably a good place to start with Keaton. After starting on the vaudeville circuit as a child performer with his family and following a three year apprenticeship with the early silent movie star Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Keaton started to make his own films. The four shorts we watched for this week, again, this is just a small percentage of the films he made in his first three years as an independent artist. They contain an astounding degree of comic invention stunts, camera trickery, set design, action, honestly, it was almost like, how are you wasting these ideas? This is how it seems to me, from a 2022 mindset. How are you wasting these ideas on a short, you know, obviously shorts were the thing then. But that's how it felt watching some of these. A quick run through of the four titles and then we'll jump into our responses to them one week from 1920 and I'll note here that all four of these shorts are what are called two reelers, so about 20 minutes total, ten minutes per reel. It was the typical length of silent comedies of the era in this one Keaton and sybil Seeley are newlyweds whose effort to start a life together is sabotaged by her expo. The theme of marriage or the plot point of marriage runs through all of these shots. I think this is the only one though where they actually start married as opposed to him seeking a woman's hand in marriage. The scarecrow from 1920 has buster competing for the attention of a farmer's daughter. He shares a one room house with Joe Roberts who appears in multiple of these shorts. He gets chased by a dog and yes, he does pretend to be a scarecrow. There's the playhouse from 1921 where Keaton has let's say a very malkovich malkovich malkovich dream and then does wreak havoc finally cops from 1922 where Keaton is mistaken for a terrorist bomber. I'm not going to ask you to rank the movies in terms of how much you enjoyed them, but I am curious, Josh, whether you had a clear favorite among the bunch and maybe if you had a clear least favorite. And if somewhere in the distinction between the two, we find what appeals to you most about Keaton. I did have a clear favorite and it was one week and I liked all of these to be perfectly clear about it. But I think it goes back to what I was just saying about the ambition and the level of stunts that are in these films. For me one week had the largest ones, whether it's the home, itself, that they build. So the conceit is essentially these newlyweds, get a gift from this uncle, where it's a build your own home kit. And they get a lot, a property, and they spend this week putting this mega Ikea concept together. And so you have this massive set that during a storm spins around has so many moving pieces itself. And then you also have, we're going to be spoiling these. I mean, these are a hundred year old films. So I think it's okay to spoil these. But you have that climactic moment where the train where they've decided to move this house to a different lot. And they go over these railroad tracks. First, they think it's going to get hit. Great gag. It's the train on the other line, so it passes by, and then while they're not watching, the train comes by on the line that it is on, and smashes it. I mean, just the scale of these set pieces is astounding to me and some of these other shorts have impressive, impressively scaled set pieces as well. But for me, one week had the biggest and the best of those, and it also had a strong emotional through line for me in the relationship of this married couple. And it had some smart satire, I think, about not only how marriage was envisioned at the time. But how I think it's still considered to be in American society today is just this easy thing that once you achieve, you've just figured it all out and it's happily ever after, right? And the very concept, the very structure of this film sends that up. Marriage is not something you buy in a box and put together according to the instructions and you're good to go. It's a little more difficult than that. And it's also very romantic. It starts really sour, sour, I think, is a word that is used at one point to describe romance in a very early intertidal, and you have that sign on the back of the couple's cars. They leave the church good luck. You'll need it. But what happens at the end? After their house is dashed to smithereens this couple, cybil Celia again, with Keaton, who have been very persistent and committed throughout all the mishaps that have happened, they just kind of clasp hands and walk along down the track together, and they're going to keep working at it. Even though their house has been smashed to smithereens. So that's a lot on one week. We can get to some of the others..

Keaton Dana Bill junior Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle sybil Seeley Luis bunuel Joe Roberts Bessie Smith Bertolt Brecht Dorothy Parker Martha Graham malkovich malkovich F. Scott Fitzgerald Sherlock Hemingway influenza Adam buster U.S. Josh
"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

06:00 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"Can't stand working out to get a new job trying to save the planet from a fuel over turn on everyone from being so controlled taking away all real name and knowing there's a sound you're likely to be.

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

13:45 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"Made. But the stuntman did every stunt. I mean, this is not the modern Hollywood star always saying I do my stunts. This is actually somebody making sure to place the camera at a far enough away angle that you can really verify that it's his body, they're doing all of those dangerous things at once. He was also his film's editor. So at this very early stage, when film was just sort of defining what it was, all of those different those divisions of labor had not calcified in the way that they do now. And I think to him made complete sense that he would be in the cutting room, putting his film together himself instead of instead of farming it out to an editor. So when you see a silent Buster Keaton film, you know, one of the ones made between 1920 and 1928 or so, you really are seeing something that came entirely out of his brain no matter who's being credited as director on screen. Dana Stevens is the film critic for slate. Her new book is cameraman. Buster Keaton, the dawn of cinema and the invention of the 20th century. She'll be back to talk more after this short break and rock critic can Tucker will review Neil Young's new album barn, which he thinks is the best Neil Young album in quite a while. I'm Dave Davies, and this is fresh air weekend. This message comes from NPR sponsor, future, a new workout experience that pairs you one on one with a fitness coach who will map out a custom plan to meet your goals all through the future app, your coach will check in with you via text and FaceTime, and is available at any time to answer questions, fine tune your workouts and celebrate your progress. To learn more and get started with 50% off your first three months, visit try future dot com slash NPR. We're speaking with slate film critic Dana Stevens, who's written a new book about Buster Keaton. Keaton directed and starred in a series of silent movies in the 1920s. His physical comedy made audiences laugh, but his films are regarded by historians as influential works in American cinema and culture. Steven's book is cameraman, Buster Keaton, the dawn of cinema, and the invention of the 20th century. You know, he was an innovator in filmmaking. And there are a couple of films that reflect this. One of them is a film called Sherlock junior and in particular a scene where he plays a guy who's a projectionist in the theater who falls asleep and then dreams of entering the movie. Tell us what he does here. Oh yeah, this is wonderful. I mean, this is a great starter Buster Keaton if you've never seen any of his movies because it really is nice and short, it's about an hour long and it really shows all the things that he could do, both with his body and with the camera. So yeah, the conceit that he had, which actually his longtime cinematographer was the one who dreamed up is why don't you play a projectionist who falls asleep in dreams his way into a movie. And it was because of the technical challenge of wanting to make that happen. You know, to see someone climb into a movie and become a part of it, that he was fascinated enough to do the film. And he loved to talk about the technique of how they actually did this, what they did was they created a stage set and lid it was wonderful cinematographer, Elgin Leslie, who we worked with for many years. Lit this stage set in a sort of flat way so that it would look like the screen of a movie to trick the eye of the viewer and then we just see him climbing in from the stage. But at that moment, of course, the Keaton character finds himself inside a movie and not sort of able to adjust to the world of being in a movie, and there's an incredible editing gag where the Buster Keaton on the screen finds himself into space. The movie within a movie then cuts to a completely different space like at one point a lion's cage with a lion in it. And suddenly he's in that space, right? So he sort of trapped in this loop of editing and that's a wonderful joke in the middle of the movie. It's an amazing effect for a movie made in the 1920s. It looks like the guy actually walks into the movie and enters it, which today people will check out, you can do that. But it's a remarkable that he did it in those early years. Yeah, he loved to brag about the fact that that always tricked people later in life and interviews he would say, I've seen that with many an audience and nobody can ever figure out how it was done. And he said that all the other cinematographers at the time would go to see Sherlock junior to try to figure out how the climbing into the screen thing had been done. It's interesting he was not a man of a lot of pretense, was he? I mean, he didn't think of himself as when people would call him a genius in an artist. He didn't like that, did he? No, it's something fascinating to read when you read interviews with him is that he loved to talk about technique. Like I say how he accomplished certain effects and things like that. He liked to tell stories about his childhood. He was not resistant to speaking to interviewers, but he was not introspective or self analytical at all. And he, in fact, was resistant to the idea that his work meant anything other than trying to make people laugh. And if he was called a genius or an artist or anything like that, I think tended to really withdraw and start to mistrust the person who had said that, he went. What would you say? Yeah, you can't be a genius and slap shoes in a pork pie hat or something like that. Yeah, exactly. The silent era came to an end at with the 20s, essentially, as a lot of things in the United States were changing, including the film industry. And that was when Buster Keaton lost his independence and signed a contract with the studio MGM where, you know, it was a big corporate machine and he had roles that was all written and this production schedules were defined and he kind of had to do what he was told. This didn't suit him well did it. No, I mean, this is a very painful part of the book to research and the movies that he made at that point are painful to watch. And even more painful in a ways that they were successful. You know, every talkie that he made at MGM that he regarded as the worst turkeys he'd ever turned out and that nobody watches now really unless your researching the dark years of Buster Keaton were all moneymakers for him. And part of that was that MGM had a strong marketing arm and he had a big name and people just went to see the new Buster Keaton movie because it was there. But tastes were also changing in the early days of sound. And sound comedies very few of early sound comedies make us laugh now. But the things that made people laugh when sound was new, often had to do with just the novelty of hearing people speaking and hearing music and having sound incorporated into the film going experience in the first place. You write that to see him in talkies is to witness the extinguishing of a singular artist's creative spark and the erosion of his professional confidence. Why were these movies so bad? I mean, people went to see them and could you give us a think of an example? I mean, it's possible that the film I was talking about then was what no beer, which is maybe his very most painful film to watch at MGM because it was toward the end. It was in fact the last film he made with him as their star comedian, and by that time he really was deep into depression, alcoholism, you know, he just had a very painful divorce. He was just an absolutely chaotic and miserable time of his life and it a 100% shows up on screen and it's just awful to see him seeming so miserable, especially because this character that he'd always played, which, as you said, was a resourceful, plucky, you know, someone who was put upon by the world and always getting out of disaster situations, but who had a lot of resources to do so kind of inner resources. Spunk and gumption. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, right. And during this period at MGM, somehow his passivity, the passivity of his character, that kind of essential, quiet that he always had a silent films, gets misinterpreted as masochism almost. And MGM movies really involve a lot of things that hark back to the joke Keaton, Buster Keaton, and that they're violent, but not in that they're funny. So there's a lot of scenes of him kind of being manhandled by bigger characters being thrown around, having no power. He doesn't get the girl anymore. He's kind of the outcast almost, or, you know, he's sort of the loser and some of these movies. And it doesn't suit his character at all. It doesn't suit his sense of humor. And I feel like at MGM, they just never really figured out who he was. They couldn't figure out what kind of vehicles to buy for him, what kind of material to put him in. And or the simple fact that there are some performers that if you give them their freedom, they'll do all sorts of incredible things. And if you take away their freedom, they're an animal in a cage. And that, I think, is how he felt and how he seemed in his films while he was at MGM. So his drinking, which had already been, you know, something that ran in the family, his father was an alcoholic, his mother seems to have drunk almost every day, like the sat and played cards and drank bourbon every day. And he came from that culture, but it really intensified after his marriage started to fall apart after his job satisfaction went to down to zero and during those miserable years. As a result, he was fired from MGM by Louis B Mayer in 1933 and had a couple of years really on the skids, where he had a lot of trouble finding work. He did not have his drinking under control at one point he married his sobriety nurse, the woman who had been hired to look after him and make sure he didn't get drunk, and they spent a couple of seemingly miserable years together. And that was a very dark time in his life. Although I do try to make the point in my book that that was not the end for buster and to kind of shake your head and say it's too bad that he went off the rails and then just write him off is a complete underestimation of the drive that he had to entertain and to continue to work. And the need to work because he had to support his entire family of origin as he did his whole life. So he, you know, he had after his divorce from his first wife, he had a two year marriage to mace Griffin, who was this nurse helping with his sobriety. And then in 1940, I believe he married Eleanor Norris, who was a contract, dancer at MGM. This was a more mature relationship. Made him happier, and he found found a place in the business, didn't he? What did he do? Yeah. I mean, this is what I mean about Keaton really managing to turn his life around in a way that I think often doesn't get appreciated in storytelling about his life. So over the course of the 1940s he was behind the scenes at MGM as a gag writer and had success there, but it wasn't really visible to audiences, but toward the end of the 40s and the early 50s he started to get bit parts in big movies. He's in sunset boulevard. He has a little bit part in that. He's in a musical with Judy Garland, where he has a small part. But not so much movies as TV really interested him. And just as always, he was always wanting to do the latest thing. He was in vaudeville at the height of vaudeville. He was in silent film at the height of silent the silent film era. And he really broke into television very early and found a lot of success there in all different kinds of roles. I mean, everything from having his own sort of sitcom at one point, appearing on the Donna Reed show and lots of other sitcoms. The Twilight Zone candid camera. I mean, there's just very little early TV that Keaton did not get in on in one way or another. You mentioned viewing his stuff on YouTube. It's remarkable, as I was preparing for for our conversation, how many of his films are on YouTube for free in this beautifully restored print? These beautifully restored prints. What would you recommend to somebody who wants to a beginner who wants to develop an appreciation for Buster Keaton? Oh, that's a great question. Yes, it is important to know that almost all these movies are streaming and most of them are streaming for free because they're in the public domain. So definitely just explore on your own. But I would say for the short 20 minute film, watch one week, which I think is one of his all time masterpieces and one of the great American comedies is sort of a romantic comedy let's put it that way, but with lots of slapstick from 1920 cops is another short that you just can't go wrong with it's incredibly crowd pleasing and full of just astonishing physical stunts. And then getting into the features. I mean, it really depends on your taste, but I would say that my two probably my two favorite Buster Keaton movies, maybe not the most famous, maybe not his favorites of his own, would be Sherlock junior, which is from 1924, and the key image from this one, if you've seen it, maybe in clip reels is of him climbing into a movie screen and joining what's happening on screen. Essentially inserting himself into a movie in progress. And steamboat Bill junior, which was his last independent movie, and it's just a really beautifully accomplished movie. And a sad one to watch in that you realize that he was just hitting his stride, the height of his powers, and that was when his independence was just about to be taken away. He died in 1966 of lung cancer. Was he a happy man then? You know, I think he was, actually, the last chapter of my book opens with this speculation is sort of how much professional disappointment did Keaton feel at the end of his life. We know he was personally happy. That seems really, really evident from just all of the stories of his relationship with Eleanor and what she said about him after he died when she became a big guardian of his legacy. And personally, I think there's no question that he found contentment, which is wonderful in itself. Professionally, it's another of those black boxes because he never stopped getting work, you know, after he got back to work after that dark time we talked about. He never stopped wanting to work or being curious about trying new things. But he also never got to direct a movie again. You know, he never got to be the lead of a movie again. He never got to devise comedy of the kind that only he could devise. And there must have been somewhere deep buried inside some regret about having had such a wonderful flight of creativity for so many years and then having to work in a more constrained way. But when asked about it, he always said, I couldn't have had a lucky or happier life. You know, he was not a complainer and I think he was pretty satisfied with the three score and ten that he got on earth. Well, Dana Stevens, thank you so much for speaking with us. It was an absolute delight. Thank you, Dave. Dana Stevens is the film critic for slate. Her new book is cameraman. Buster Keaton, the dawn of cinema and the invention of the 20th century. Neil Young's new album is called barn. And that's where it was recorded in an old barn on young's property in the Colorado Rockies. It was cut in about ten days with young's longtime band crazy horse. Musicians young has performed with off and on for more than half a century. Rock critic Ken Tucker says barn is the best Neil Young album in quite a while..

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"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

07:24 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"Completely free in this world. You say early in the book that a statement that goes around a lot is it must be terrifying to raise a black boy in America. Your reaction to this statement. I just, it would, it would make me so angry. I felt oftentimes. And I say in the book, I know that people didn't have bad intentions, but it felt so voyeuristic and it also felt like it diminished the incredible beauty of raising children to that. And they were funny and smart and imaginative and curious in every day as this kind of beautiful adventure. And I felt so often that my parenting was being diminished to racism. And I also felt that it was really important that I not raise them to move with fear as a dominant emotion because I didn't want them. I didn't want to clip their wings. I wanted them to fly. I'd want them to fly to feel a sense of expansiveness and possibility. So to me, there's a resistance that is important in not limiting my imagination about what it means to raise them to the fact that this is a racist society. You're telling me it is not a terror. It's a gift. It's a gift, yeah. Yeah. You say to your sons in the book, you are second generation integrators. Meaning, I guess what that you've had to learn to navigate living at times in a largely white world as they do now. Is that what you meant? Yes, and also that they like me. You know, they attended predominantly white private schools, elite schools, and what's so interesting about that is that even several generations in, for black people, we continue to be conceived of as outsiders of a certain sort as though these institutions don't belong to us. And so it's a sort of strange dynamic. It's related to Dubois's concept of double consciousness whenever feels one's two Ness. It's analogous to what it means to be black in American, right? That you very much belong. You know, you've always been here and yet there's this sort of skepticism about you as part of an institution and to understand that that's a source of grief there, but it's also a really important source of critical insight and to understand how to harness the critical insights so as not to be overwhelmed by the grief. That's part of the challenge. So yeah, they are where I have been in so many ways. Imani Perry, thank you so much for speaking with us. Thank you. I really appreciate it. Imani Perry is the Hughes Rogers Professor of African American studies at Princeton, and the author of the new book south to America. A journey below the mason Dixon line to understand the soul of a nation. Coming up we'll talk about the life and work of Buster Keaton with slate film critic Dana Stevens. I'm Dave Davies, and this is fresh air weekend. This new year, life kit wants to help you succeed, because everyone needs a little help being human, but can seem so overwhelming. You're not alone. Who can I commit to being? If you want to do something, you can just do it. Just take that first step. Great advice every week. Listen to life kit from NPR. If you know the name Buster Keaton, you probably think of him as a guy in old black and white silent movies known for slapstick and sight gags. It's true he had a gift for physical comedy, but that doesn't begin to describe his talent or his influence. In the 1920s, Keaton starred in and directed a string of silent films that are cited by a long list of great American filmmakers as inspirations. Orson Welles to name one called Keaton a supreme artist and said his film the general is one of the greatest of all time. 7 of Keaton's silent films are on the National Film Registry. Apart from his influence on American cinema, Keaton's story is a fascinating one. Born in the 19th century and vaudeville star by the age of 5, his life took some hard turns after his burst of creativity in the 20s. He fell from stardom and battled alcoholism, then regained his footing and had a long career in show business as a writer and performer. Our guest Dana Stevens is a veteran film critic who's written a new book about Keaton, Stevens is the film critic for slate and co host of its long running podcast called culture gab fest. She's also written for The New York Times. The Washington Post, the Atlantic and other publications, her new book is cameraman. Buster Keaton, the dawn of cinema and the invention of the 20th century. With Dana Stevens, welcome to fresh air. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to talk. I have become a Buster Keaton fan, in part because of the director of our program, Roberto shurak has been sending me videos of his stuff for years. And they make me laugh out loud. But I'm guessing a lot of our audience has never seen a silent film beginning to end. It kind of don't know this world. Let me just begin by asking you why you think he's an important figure in the story of American cinema. I mean, not just in American cinema, but as this book is sort of trying to pull out the camera in order to talk about of American history, I would say his films, first of all, as you said very well in your introduction, have just become these monuments of world cinema. And often now, when there's these crowdsourced lists of the greatest films of all time, where critics from around the world contribute their titles, he will be the only silent filmmaker, not always, sometimes it's chaplain pulling just ahead of him, but one of the two of them will often be the only silent filmmaker that makes it into that top ten or top 25 or whatever it is. So silent cinema, it still plays a very small role on the periphery of the imagination, even of big xenophiles. You know, when film critics, I think. And it's understandable why. So many of those movies are lost forever. You know, something like 75 to 80% of silent films that were ever made are now gone because they were not valued by the generations that came right after. And we're just essentially discarded after they made the rounds and were shown. And silent film really fell into a period of decades where it was just simply not a concern, not coming to anyone's attention and not being preserved or promulgated in any way. And that's been changing slowly in the decades basically since Keaton's death in the 60 70s, 80s onward. But I feel like his legacy is something that's really just a beautiful and important part of American history. You know, not just American film history, but American history and the history of American art. Right. He kind of came into the 20th century as so much was changing. He was born in Kansas, 1895, and at a young age got involved in his family's vaudeville act. And I thought we'd listen to an excerpt of buster himself talking about this. This is later in life, and you'll hear a music underneath his voice. This is part of a documentary called a hard act to follow, Buster Keaton, here you're.

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"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

05:43 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"You want to engage your time well, it's a terrible movie. And the Keaton's new Keaton and his last wife Eleanor who you mentioned, who agreed to sell the rights to his life in order, essentially, to be able to buy a home and have a nice place for them to retire to and grow old and they both hated the movie and were very embarrassed by its existence, but it came at a time when Hollywood biopics were all the rage. There were a lot of Hollywood biopics, particularly about stars that had gone on this kids that were selling in that period in the late 50s. And so they let his life be really heavily fictionalized and put into this terrible melodrama with Donald O'Connor, who's not horribly cast as a young Buster Keaton, but no, that movie will neither teach you anything about his life nor entertain you. So I say skip it. But what's an important paycheck for him about him to get the home that he and his wife lived in for many years? Very important. Yeah. In these years, the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, were his silent films, remembered, appreciated. Could anybody see them? Not during the beginning of that period you're talking about. The 1940s and the 30s, especially were just not a good time for silent film or silent film preservation. Nobody was thinking about those films. They were being left to Mulder and vaults are just simply thrown away to make room for other movies. And it really wasn't until the late 40s and specifically because of an article that appeared in life by the film critic James Agee that was all about silent cinema and rediscovering it and Buster Keaton was a big part of it. And also just the fact that he was still around, doing TV, starting to get attention again. So very slowly throughout the late 50s and early 60s, they started to be more interest. And right around the time he died, and it's great that he got on a little bit of it enough to experience it. There was a revival of his movies. They started to be found and restored. And he got to go to the Venice Film Festival and get a standing ovation and start to realize that he was going to be this lasting figure in film history, which only a few years before he probably would have thought, no, no, I'll be forgotten. You mentioned viewing his stuff on YouTube. It's remarkable, as I was preparing for for our conversation, how many of his films are on YouTube for free in this beautifully restored print? These beautifully restored prints. What would you recommend to somebody who wants to a beginner who wants to develop an appreciation for Buster Keaton? Oh, that's a great question. Yes, it is important to know that almost all these movies are streaming and most of them are streaming for free because they're in the public domain. So definitely just explore on your own. But I would say for the short 20 minute film, watch one week, which I think is one of his all time masterpieces and one of the great American comedies is sort of a romantic comedy let's put it that way, but with lots of slapstick from 1920, cops is another short that you just can't go wrong with it's incredibly crowd pleasing and full of just astonishing physical stunts. And then getting into the features..

Keaton Buster Keaton Hollywood Donald O'Connor Eleanor James Agee Mulder Venice Film Festival YouTube
"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

04:57 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"It's really pretty remarkable. The crew had a hard time watching, didn't they? Oh, yes, this is a part of the legend of the filming of that steamboat Bill junior House collapses that the cameraman had to look away and that the director was off praying. I think the director did actually confirm years later that he was in fact often in his tent in his office praying that the stunt would go off. That people were fainting on the sidelines because it really was the most dangerous stunt he'd ever undertaken. You know, something that if he had been a fraction of binge off, could have questioned. The silent era came to an end with the 20s, essentially, as a lot of things in the United States were changing, including the film industry. And that was when Buster Keaton lost his independence and signed a contract with the studio MGM where, you know, it was a big corporate machine and he had roles that was all written and production schedules were defined and he kind of had to do what he was told. This didn't suit him well, did it? No, I mean, this is a very painful part of the book to research and the movies that he made at that point are painful to watch. And even more painful in ways that they were successful. You know, every talkie that he made at MGM that he regarded as the worst turkeys he'd ever turned out and that nobody watches now really unless you're researching the dark years of Buster Keaton, were all moneymakers for him. And part of that was that MGM had a strong marketing arm and he had a big name and people just went to see the new Buster Keaton movie because it was there. But tastes were also changing in the early days of sound. And sound comedies, very few of early sound comedies make us laugh now. But the things that made people laugh when sound was new, often had to do with just the novelty of hearing people speaking and hearing music and having sound incorporated into the film going experience in the first place. You write that to see him in talkies is to witness the extinguishing of a singular artists creative spark and the erosion of his professional confidence. Why were these movies so bad? I mean, people went to see them and could you give us a think of an example? I mean, it's possible that the film I was talking about then was what no beer, which is maybe his very most painful film to watch at MGM because it was toward the end. It was in fact the last film he made with him as their star comedian, and by that time he really was deep into depression, alcoholism, you know, he just had a very painful divorce. He was just an absolutely chaotic and miserable time of his life and it a 100% shows up on screen and it's just awful to see him seeming so miserable, especially because this character that he had always played, which as you said was a resourceful, plucky, someone who was put upon by the world and always getting out of disaster situations, but who had a lot of resources to do so kind of inner resources. Spunk and gumption. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, right. And during this period of MGM, somehow his passivity, the passivity of his character, that kind of essential, quiet that he always had a silent films, gets misinterpreted as masochism almost. And those MGM movies really involve a lot of things that hark back to the joke Keaton, Buster Keaton, and that they're violent, but not in that they're funny..

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"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

03:25 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"Yeah, and at one point, one of the guys in the audience, who is, of course, Buster Keaton looks at the program and says, it looks like this Buster Keaton guys the whole show. It's a lovely touch. That's right, yeah, his name is every name in the program. And in fact, there he was poking fun in a way at credit hogs, you know, at people in show business that always insisted on taking every credit, because even though he was pretty much doing everything behind the scenes on his movies, he would very often credit them to other directors and not himself. Another film that people talk about is being innovative was Sherlock junior and in particular a scene where he plays a guy who's a projectionist in the theater who falls asleep and then dreams of entering the movie. Tell us what he does here. Oh yeah, this is wonderful. I mean, this is a great starter Buster Keaton if you've never seen any of his movies because it really is nice and short. It's about an hour long and it really shows all the things that he could do, both with his body and with the camera. So yeah, the conceit that he had, which actually his longtime cinematographer was the one who dreamed up is why don't you play a projectionist who falls asleep in dreams his way into a movie. And it was because of the technical challenge of wanting to make that happen. You know, to see someone climb into a movie and become a part of it, that he was fascinated enough to do the film. And he loved to talk about the technique of how they actually did this, what they did was they created a stage set and lid it was wonderful cinematographer, Elgin Leslie, who we worked with for many years. Lit this stage set in a sort of flat way so that it would look like the screen of a movie to trick the eye of the viewer and then we just see him climbing in from the stage. But at that moment, of course, the Keaton character finds himself inside a movie and not sort of able to adjust to the world of being in a movie and there's this incredible editing gag where the Buster Keaton on the screen finds himself in his face. The movie within a movie then cuts to a completely different space like at one point a lion's cage with a lion in it. And suddenly he's in that space, right? So he's sort of trapped in this loop of editing. And that's a wonderful joke in the middle of the movie..

Buster Keaton Sherlock Elgin Leslie Keaton
"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

04:11 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"What do we do about all we knew about Bill Cosby and what we know now? We need to talk about Cosby, premieres Sunday, January 30th, only on showtime. What happens when you're pushed to the limit? And what does it take to go further? I'm Jay Williams, and those questions define my journey to the NBA and beyond. But overcoming limits is something we all have to do. So come with me, as I explore how. With some of the biggest names in sports business and culture. Listen to my new show, the limits from NPR. We're speaking with slate film critic Dana Stevens, who's written a new book about Buster Keaton. Keaton directed and starred in a series of silent movies in the 1920s. His physical comedy made audiences laugh, but his films are regarded by historians as influential works in American cinema and culture. Steven's book is cameraman, Buster Keaton, the dawn of cinema, and the invention of the 20th century. The appeal of buster's performances wasn't just that he took Pratt falls. I mean, yeah, there's that, but it's not just slapstick. I mean, the physical comedy had had subtlety to it. I mean, can you kind of give us a sense of that? I mean there, it's almost hard to describe. You have to see the movies to know. But what I thought of when you said that was just his facial expressions, right? I mean, he's known for the incredible things he could do with his body and for having a long enough shot that you can see him doing the things that this body, but of course he is also all about the face and specifically the eyes and the inexperience. In expressivity is the wrong word in a way because he did have a huge realm of facial expressions and emotions that he was conveying in his body and his face. But it was a limited and reserved range, right? Put it that way. And to me, the fascination of Buster Keaton's comedy comes from that in a way. You are laughing. He wants you to laugh. He's making you laugh, but he would never laugh along with you. It would ruin everything. And he knew that he understood that about his comic persona. You know, that he had to have that solemn and somber and almost melancholic kind of reaction to his own circumstances in order for you to find them as funny as possible..

Buster Keaton Dana Stevens Jay Williams Pratt falls Bill Cosby Cosby Keaton NPR NBA buster Steven
"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

04:23 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"Right. He did, I think if I have the numbers right, 19 shorts two dealers they're called about 20 minutes or so. And then ten feature length. Films during that period. I thought we'd talk a little bit about one of them. This is one of his early ones called one week, and it's the story of a couple that buys a mail order house. I didn't know what this was. What was a mail order house back then? I mean, this ended up turning into an entire chapter in the book because I too was so fascinated at the background of what does this kit home that he receives in one week with his bride played by civil Seeley and it's a wedding gift in the case of the movie, right? Just a big box of boards and nails and makings for a house. And they start turning into a house. So the conceit of the movie is that they build a house together in one week. But what they're actually riffing on is, of course, the popularity of home kits at the time. The Sears model homes and other companies as well. There was a real fad right in this very period we're talking about in the teens and 20s and a little bit into the 30s where that was sort of the hot thing to order your house kit from a company have it shipped to you by rail, and then what usually happened is a crew put it together. It wasn't usually the couple itself, putting the house together, but of course, the gags that he gets out of it is kind of a domestic comedy, the idea of this young newlywed couple in love, trying to make a beautiful home for themselves and everything they do comes out completely cock eyed. Right. And the conceit was that a jilted lover of his bride messed them up by renumbering the crates that the pieces of the house come in. And so it's pretty remarkable some of the stuff that you see him do..

civil Seeley Sears
"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

05:06 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"Kind of a rough and tumble act. Tell us about it. What do we know about this act that he did with his parents? I mean, this was a really fascinating part of the book to research, because, of course, there's no record of this act. Film existed at the time that they were doing the three keatons slapstick act, but the act was never filmed, just like most fragile acts of the time were never recorded on film. And so it's only through buster's way of telling stories about it and contemporary reviews of people who saw it at the time and really just the lore that was passed down about it that anybody knows what that act was. But as you sort of hear in his very laconic explanation of it there, what the act essentially was was this act about a child sassing his father. It was about the father son relationship, and Joe Keaton buster's dad would play the role of this loving father who was going to teach the audience about parenting, but it was all kind of an ironic joke because behind him, you would see buster doing some kind of mischief on the stage where he was preparing to attack his father in some way. And then this would all resolve in his father learning about the deception and hurling buster into the backdrop into the wings into the audience or the orchestra pit occasionally. It really was known as one of the most violent acts in vaudeville. And that was what people loved about it. That was, along with the great acrobat, the tricks that the buster could do, there was just the danger that something might happen to this small child who seemed to be indestructible. And so one of the things I wanted to trace was how you really see that exact same dynamic happening in every Buster Keaton movie. It's almost as if the sensation that he wants to evoke in his audiences. How could he do that and live? But be laughing at the same time as they're gasping over the danger. Right. The dead would be talking while buster is behind them. There'd be a basketball on a rope that he would be spinning in a circle getting closer and closer to his dad's head. And then what his dad would toss him explain the suitcase handle sewn into buster's code. That's a lovely little guy. Yes, that's nice. That was something when he was smaller. The basketball actually was something that evolved later in their act to investor was too big to throw. In the teenage buster had to figure out some way to torment his father, and that act with the basketball also gets brought up in some movies later. But yes, when he was a very small child, his mother sowed a suitcase handle into the back of his costume, his little performing jacket so that his father could more easily grasp him and hurl him into whatever solid object he felt like throwing him at. Right. Did critics take notice of the kid the young Keaton as the act developed? Absolutely..

buster Joe Keaton buster Buster Keaton basketball Keaton
"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

04:26 min | 8 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on Fresh Air

"This is fresh air. I'm Dave Davies and today for cherry gross. If you know the name Buster Keaton, you probably think of him as a guy in old black and white silent movies known for slapstick and sight gags. It's true he had a gift for physical comedy, but that doesn't begin to describe his talent or his influence. In the 1920s, Keaton starred in and directed a string of silent films that are cited by a long list of great American filmmakers as inspirations. Orson Welles to name one called Keaton a supreme artist and said his film the general is one of the greatest of all time. 7 of Keaton's silent films are on the National Film Registry. Apart from his influence on American cinema, Keaton's story is a fascinating one. Born in the 19th century and vaudeville star by the age of 5, his life took some hard turns after his burst of creativity in the 20s. He felt from stardom and battled alcoholism, then regained his footing and had a long career in show business as a writer and performer. Our guest Dana Stevens is a veteran film critic who's written a new book about Keaton, Stevens is the film critic for slate and co host of its long running podcast called culture gab fest. She is also written for The New York Times The Washington Post, the Atlantic and other publications. Her new book is cameraman. Buster Keaton, the dawn of cinema and the invention of the 20th century. The Dana Stevens welcome to fresh air. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to talk. I have become a Buster Keaton fan, in part because of the director of our program, Roberto has been sending me videos of his stuff for years. And they make me laugh out loud. But I'm guessing a lot of our audience has never seen a silent film beginning to end. It kind of don't know this world. Let me just begin by asking you why you think he's an important figure in the story of American cinema. I mean, not just in American cinema, but as this book is sort of trying to pull out the camera in order to talk about of American history, I would say his films, first of all, as you said very well in your introduction, have just become these monuments of world cinema and often now when there's these crowd sourced lists of the greatest films of all time where critics from around the world contribute their titles, he will be the only silent filmmaker, not always, sometimes it's chaplain pulling just ahead of him, but one of the two of them will often be the only silent filmmaker that makes it into that top ten or top 25 or whatever it is. So silent cinema, it still plays a very small role on the periphery of the imagination, even of big xenophiles. You know when film critics, I think. And it's understandable why. So many of those movies are lost forever. You know, something like 75 to 80% of silent films that were ever made are now gone because they were not valued by the generations that came right after. And we're just essentially discarded after they made the rounds and were shown. And silent film really fell into a period of decades where it was just simply not a concern. Not coming to anyone's attention and not being preserved or promulgated in any way. And that's been changing slowly in the decades basically since Keaton's death in the 60 70s, 80s onward. But I feel like his legacy is something that's really just a beautiful and important part of American history. You know, not just American film history, but American history and the history of American art. Right..

Keaton Buster Keaton Dana Stevens Dave Davies National Film Registry Orson Welles The Washington Post Stevens The New York Times Roberto Atlantic
"buster keaton" Discussed on The Past and the Curious

The Past and the Curious

06:58 min | 9 months ago

"buster keaton" Discussed on The Past and the Curious

"Well hell, hello there everybody and welcome back to the underwear chronicles. This is a side project. Oh, the past and the curious. And my name is Mick Sullivan. So this is episode three of the underwear chronicles. If you don't know about what these are, these are, it's a lot like an episode of the past and the curious. However, there's just one story. It's a little bit longer than a normal story. And the famous person involved somehow their underwear is going to make an appearance in the story. So this episode is probably going to sound a little familiar to some of our longtime listeners, it's about Buster Keaton, and some of the details of the story and a little bit of the writing is going to be the same as what you've heard in like three years ago. But this is a new version of the story. It's been rewritten. It's been re edited, and there's underwear in it. There wasn't underwear in the last one. I don't think. But it's a really fun story about one of my favorite actors, filmmakers, comedians, of all time. Buster Keaton, and his underwear. Buster Keaton only went to school one day in his life. His dad figured some time in the classroom might be good for the boy. So one day he woke him up early, got him dressed and sent him on his way. At the end of the day, the youngster came home with a note from the teacher, asking that he not return. He was sent home for being too funny. It seems that buster cared more about making his fellow classmates laugh than listening to his teachers and structures. If only there had been a fire drill that day, perhaps she could have seen his true value. And not to mention his underpants. Plenty of people can say that they had an unusual childhood. However, not very many can say that they were thrown across a stage every night, that they got their nickname from Harry Houdini, or that this nickname came as a result of a terrifying childhood accident. Buster could say all of this, and though his birth name was Joseph, he would almost never hear anyone use it. His parents were vaudeville performers, which was a popular entertainment before the days of TVs and radios and smartphones. Vaudeville shows included acts of music, comedy, drama, magic, and more. All staged for a live theater audience. When little Joseph was too young for underwear and was making messes in his diapers instead, he was packed along with his parents, who performed with a vaudeville group that included legendary escape artist Harry, Houdini. Even as a toddler, Joseph Keaton was a rambunctious and fearless little fellow. One day he scurried off and found himself staring down a long flight of stairs without batting either one of his big Brown baby eyes. His parents were not close enough to react, or didn't really care about the long fall that awaited their child. Either way, they weren't winning any parent of the year awards. There was a right way to use steps and a bunch of wrong ways to use steps. On this day, little Joseph Keaton demonstrated one of the wrong ways. One of the wrongest ways, actually, one by one, top over toes, the poor little guy thumped and thudded his way down every step. To anyone watching the tumbling toddler probably seemed to move in horrifyingly slow motion. And when he finally came to a merciful rest at the bottom, the boy sat up. Looked a little dazed for a moment, and then shook himself back to normal. No tears, no pain, no problem. The adults nearby breathed the side of relief. Years later, Keaton said that it was Harry Houdini himself, who scooped the fallen boy up off the ground and exclaimed that was a real buster. It became both a nickname and a way of life. Buster just seemed to have a knack for falling and not getting hurt. As soon as he could walk, he was onstage with his parents and the comedy act became a family affair. Sure, having him on stage was a way to keep the little squirt out of trouble, but the keatons also made use of their three year olds natural abilities. Part of the act required him to disobey his father on stage. Luckily, this came naturally to him. As it does for most kids of his age. The other part of the act required him to be picked up and thrown through the air. Good. Now nothing like this would be allowed to happen today. And it certainly shouldn't. But every night when the curtain went up, buster's dad would heave him across the stage. Hurl him out of fake window, even chuck him into the audience. And with a limber body and a straight face because no one likes it when you laugh at your own jokes. Just kidding. I laugh at mine all the time. The kid just got right back up. Time and time again. The audience didn't know what to make of it at first. It certainly shocking to see a kid go sailing across a room, but when he gets back up and asks for more. Well, I guess I can be pretty entertaining. Anytime someone inquired with concern about buster's well-being, he could show that his falls left him with no bumps, no bruises, and no broken bones. He was a natural born tumblr. Eventually, though, he got a little too heavy for his dad tossed with ease. The smaller the kid, the easier it is to get a good throwing grip. Once a kid gets to be around school age, can be really hard to keep the proper form, needed to launch him into a crowd full of people. They say, necessity is the mother of invention. But one could also call it the father of forward motion. Mister Keaton devised a solution to the whole tossing your growing kid dilemma, and it took the form of something buster war underneath his stage suit. Peeking out of a hidden incision in his fancy clothes were a pair of old suitcase handles, attached to stout fabric, worn underneath the outfit. Now with ease, papa Keaton could grab those suckers and seriously sent his son sailing. Buster flew across vaudeville stages for as long as he reasonably could. But eventually, he got far too heavy for his old man to toss. Even with the underwear handles. It was for the best, though, because by the time buster.

Buster Keaton Joseph Keaton Mick Sullivan Harry Houdini buster Buster Joseph Keaton Harry chuck Mister Keaton tumblr papa Keaton
'The Great Gatsby,' 'Mrs. Dalloway' And Other 1925 Works Enter The Public Domain

Houston Public Media Local Newscasts

00:57 sec | 1 year ago

'The Great Gatsby,' 'Mrs. Dalloway' And Other 1925 Works Enter The Public Domain

"Today is public domain day. As of january first thousands of books movies songs and other material from nineteen twenty five are no longer under copyright protection including the great gatsby. Npr's neda ulaby has more besides the f. scott fitzgerald masterpiece books entering the public domain now. Include mrs dalloway by virginia woolf and classics by sinclair lewis franz kafka ernest hemingway and agatha christie so are other works from nineteen twenty five like buster. Keaton silent film go west and the songs week toward brown now community. Orchestras can play music in the public domain for free scholars will not have to get permission to study. This material and books on the public domain can appear online without charge all part of living cultural conversation that anyone can join netto lippi. Npr news both

Neda Ulaby Mrs Dalloway Scott Fitzgerald Sinclair Lewis NPR Virginia Woolf Franz Kafka Ernest Hemingway Agatha Christie Keaton Netto Lippi Npr News
Kid-Friendly TV Show Recommendations

Parenting: Difficult Conversations

09:29 min | 2 years ago

Kid-Friendly TV Show Recommendations

"I think it's important to clarify. We're doing these recommendations are for very little kids and everything that we are talking about all of the recommendations on this episode our TV and I think there are parents of very young children and people who give advice to parents have very young children who tend to obsess over screen time and how much screen time a toddler should have look. These are unusual times and the first thing that I want to say before I even start doling out recommendations is just to remember that you're doing the best you can. You're doing fine if you need to put your toddler in front of a TV or a tablet and that is what needs to happen for you to stay sane for you to get your work done then so be it. Your kid is going to be fine. Your kid has you. That's what's important wanted to get that out there. I will also go so far. As to say as a person who obsessed about this didn't obsess about it goes back and forth the important part of the best you can is the you can part so if you are stuck on the fact well. The best is only two hours. It's the best that you can do. Given your circumstances your doing great exactly so. My first recommendation is something that my parents put in front of me. When I was very small child back in the seventies which has been fairly recently rebooted for new generations the electric company. The Electric Company is a educational children's program in the seventies it featured such wonderful luminaries as Rita Moreno. It has an extraordinarily charming kids show. That is really focused on education. But does it in such a warm and inviting and pleasant way so the original seventies electric company you can stream it via Amazon? It does cost money. You can find pretty lengthy excerpts of it on Youtube floating around and you know a lot of us who grew up in the seventies. We'll have you know like individual favorite moments from the electric company. I just remember that that was something that my parents really love to have on and around because though it was geared very very much too little kids and they say online. They say that it's geared toward five to nine but I think you can really go younger than that. My parents didn't go nuts watching it now. They recently rebooted the electric company from two thousand nine to twenty eleven. Those three seasons you can stream for free at PBS DOT ORG and As an incentive for parents who listen to this show and have not checked out the rebooted electric company one of the CAST members is William Jackson Harper. Who Played Chidi on the good place incentive to watch the new electric company Occasional guest spots and occasional music composition from one Lin. Manuel Miranda. I'LL AL. Obviously we could go back and forth. Comparing the quality of the two there is no way to compare something. You were nostalgic for as a child with something that is trying to duplicate that magic but that is a marvelous piece of educational programming. That is still entertaining. And that is right up there with stuff like Mister Rogers neighborhood and sesame street and all sorts of wonderful stuff that you can find on PBS kids. Electric Company is just a gorgeous piece of that puzzle. And I don't think it gets as much recognition as it should get especially compared to some of those other classic pieces of programming love it. Excellent Pack Loved Electric Company Berry. What is your first recommendation? We in our family when my oldest was younger and I was pregnant with my second son. It was really imperative for me to be sitting down lying down pretending that I didn't have a child for like two or three hours a day but I also had already watched so much Daniel Tiger which is wonderful and other. Pbs Kids thing. That probably taught me a lot about parenting but I wanted something that I also really liked from the creators of Wallace and GROMIT. Shaun the sheep which I have so many I mean I literally have photographs of both my husband and my then three year old watching. Shaun the sheep and both laughing at exactly the same amount because it is genuinely funny. It is the first thing that I think our family all liked the same amount where we really all were engaged in it in the same way. I you know you're not pretending to love you know Mom Tiger or whatever you're not pretending to be like Mom Tiger. I'm really actually mom. Tigers really haunted me over the years but I will say that Shaun. The sheep is both adorable in terms of its slapsticky laps. But it also looks gorgeous. So if you're not familiar with Wallace and gromit they created these these beautiful claymation sort of handmade aesthetic from our animations and Wallace and gromit. I also highly recommend but it's more of a sophisticated storyline. What's Great About Shaun? The sheep is that they are sort of snack. -able basically it is a brilliant sheep named Sean and the adventures of him and his farmer and his friends and it is genuinely funny. They're all of these little references. That are incredibly sophisticated without going over the head of your little ones. There's a kind of buster Keaton ask quality to it and I can watch them all the time. I really truly do not get sick of Shaun the sheep and my kids who are now as we said six nine still really love them. It's about that and maybe the British bake off are the only things that the entire family can agree on. If you've missed out on it please go back and watch it and you may find yourself watching it even without your children and where we find it. You can find it in a myriad of places. It is on Amazon prime. It is on Netflix. The Shaun the sheep extended universe of both movies and also the Wallace and gromit from the same animation studio are in many streaming places so if you just search Shaun the sheep you will find a gorgeous claymation that will make you. Giggle is a great pick and man. My kids now are nine thousand nine hundred sixteen and at no point in their lives. Has there been more than like a small handful of things that everyone in the family can enjoy at the same level at the exact same time so when you find one of those the love that you experience as a parent for that piece of entertainment is intense. I feel you on this one in a big way. Very very nice excellent. Pick Berry Hartman Steven. You'RE GONNA give us your second pick and This is not surprise. Me Buddy well. This one is specific to one of my kids particularly my older kid my son. Jona when he was little he obsessed over a cartoon that I watched as a kid called the wacky races and the wacky races were a very short lived. Hanna barbera cartoon aired in late. Nineteen sixty eight and a little bit in early sixty nine and then has kind of lived on in reruns. There's a DVD set that has like the complete collection of the wacky races. Hanna barbera cartoons are pretty primitive. You're talking about children's TV in the late sixties. You have some kind of squeaky gender stuff. There's like one female racer penelope pitstop. Who's like more concerned with her makeup than with racing? It has that name is amazing. Insert pitstop into my middle name. Very pitstop hardiman stuff hardiman The thing is though there's something about the way. This particular cartoon was structured where each episode of the show all of these goofy characters. They were the same characters. The plot couldn't be simpler. They're racing and at the end of each episode. One of the racers wins. There's a bad guy racer named Dick Dastardly. And his side kick Mutley. Who has that famous? Little wheezy laugh and my son who was obsessed with numbers kind of obsessed a certain amount of scorekeeping managed to latch into it. Not only as a piece of like fun cartoony entertainment but kind of latched onto it as like a statistician almost and really got obsessed with it. Even though there were only seventeen episodes he just watched them over and over and over again. Now the wacky races have existed in a couple of different forms. There's a wacky racist game for the we. The kids also played. This is also like electric company is one that got rebooted and it got rebooted a few years ago and once again if you're obsessed with the nineteen sixty eight version you're gonNA watch the version from twenty seventeen or two thousand eighteen and roll your eyes because it's not the exact entertainment that you grew up with but you look at the voice cast on this rebooted wacky races. It's Tom Kenny WHO's TV. Spongebob Jill Talley who's also voiced from. Spongebob she's also from Mister. Show like Tom. Kenny and Billy West. Who was stimpy. He was fry in Futurama. You have some really lovable voice. Cast working with this show. So lucky races isn't necessarily the top of very many people's list as far as like high quality children's programming but it was really important in my house and really had this nice kind of cross generational appeal where I got to feel nostalgia watching it and my kids hooked into it in ways that even I never did

Electric Company Shaun Wallace Amazon Loved Electric Company Berry Tom Kenny Hanna Barbera Mister Rogers Cast Youtube Rita Moreno Buster Keaton Daniel Tiger Netflix Jill Talley Manuel Miranda LIN Berry Hartman Hardiman William Jackson Harper
Electronic Television: The Great Depression And The World's Fair

American Innovations

05:26 min | 2 years ago

Electronic Television: The Great Depression And The World's Fair

"It's nineteen thirty. The world is stuck in the early stages the great depression many Americans lift their spirits at the new moving picture shows in theaters and nickelodeon 's Buster Keaton Charlie Chaplin comedies. These films are often introduced with Mickey mouse cartoons or newsreels one newsreel in particular dazzles the audience with the promise of soon bringing these new moving picture shows into their very own homes presents. A backstage preview television the newest miracle of modern Electrical Engineering Mr penalty shown shown at the right is working on the image dissect to photoelectric camera. Tube of his own invention that distinguishes his system of television from others. It is said to be responsible for the most clearly defined television pictures placed in the second of this receiving system is a funnel shaped cattle due the round flat surface of its bulb becomes the picture screen in Studio Monitor. It does it as well. As in home receiving sense the image detector Tube and the Cathode Ray tube are the heart and brain system. Television Vilo Farnsworth's image to sector tube and camera system had finally brought the long anticipated picture radio into being station equipment. The electrons become radio impulses to broadcast and picked up by receiving sense where the routine is with us. The radio impulsive becoming points of light that appear on the screen as picture thirty pictures. I completed every second. These earliest television programming was live performance music and sound accompanied. The OBAMAS was action both visible and audible elements going on the air in perfect synchronization battling with the speed of light to amaze of tubes and equipment. The show leaves the station send the towers viewed by the television public and audience as yet small and comparatively ignorant of the research and experiment. That makes it possible rush to see and hear people many miles away watching this newsreel in the movie theater. The audience is intrigued but sceptical. The most fanciful dream of mankind is day startling reality destined to become the world's most popular science in one thousand nine thirty in San Francisco. Two years have passed since Filo funds worth with help from his wife. Pam Gardner and her brother cliff triumphantly showed off off a working prototype of electronic television. Violence picture was on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle under a headline that called him a genius is name was being being mentioned in newsreels magazines journals and the Associated Press but he hadn't yet found a manufacturer to partner with so financially files fortunes agents hadn't changed Penn gave birth to their first son. Filo T farnsworth third the previous year and a second son. Kenny would follow in nineteen thirty one but now a curious envelope in the days male brings a new possibility. You got a letter here. Filo says it's from New York I can't believe. RCA is offering one hundred thousand dollars for the image sector would. That's wonderful that exactly pam they want to own it outright i. It's not ideal but one hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money. Not compared to what television will eventually be worth. It's a mistake to cash in too soon like this. We have to keep the faith. I understand. Filo it's your invention that's Pammy. It's not it it never was. It's it's all of the great minds that have come before to make this possible. And it's you it's cliff. All of us were a team but they wanna buy our work and call it. There's it's just not fair. They can license it if they like. I've spent my entire life working towards this Pam. It's like it's like trying to sell one of our children. The Lord will provide Filo a a few weeks later. The farnsworth's receive another big opportunity with visit to the lab from United Artists. The Film Production Company was Silent Age Film Stars like Charlie the chaplain. Douglas Fairbanks D W Griffith and Mary. PICKFORD PICKFORD is especially enthusiastic. We just had to see this amazing new television system. We've heard so much about it. But when the time comes the image to sector won't cooperate Filo is rattled. I I'm sorry folks. This is humiliating million chaplain smiles. Don't sweat it. I've seen worse like Douglas's latest picture a few hours later. After the stars leave cliff finds the problem on a wire wasn't plugged in it. Was that simple Dan. How did I not see that Pam tries to reassure him? Mary Pickford was here. We were all a bit distracted. It did keep the faith Filo when a third opportunity knocks a few weeks later Filo is determined to answer the call this time. FILC who radio in Philadelphia. They they they want to license the Patents Fund our research. But it'll still be ours with some help Vilo at Phil Co so in Philadelphia moving from the bay area to the city of brotherly love. What do you think it sounds great? And so the Farnsworth family packed packed their bags with their belongings precious equipment and board a train to head across the country to Philadelphia Pennsylvania. His family counting on him. Kylo could only pray he was making the right decision.

Filo Vilo Farnsworth Cliff Filo T Pam Gardner Mary Pickford Philadelphia Charlie Chaplin Pickford Pickford Buster Keaton San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Nickelodeon Obamas New York Pennsylvania
List of copyrighted works entering the public domain in 2020

The Takeaway

04:16 min | 2 years ago

List of copyrighted works entering the public domain in 2020

"As the clock strikes midnight on new year's eve get this thousands of copyrighted works will finally entered the public domain and that includes books movies music all sorts of creative works that were first published in the U. S. in nineteen twenty four and if you're a little hazy on came out that year here's one the first movie adaptation of Peter Pan okay yeah we would have had a clip for that but that one was a silent film but also one of the things coming out this year blues legend of ma Rainey song CC right I'm enters the public domain it means it's no longer protected by copyright and the public can use and consume it without permission and at no cost and without the public domain we wouldn't have so much art that rests on the work of authors like Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare and these mass expirations used to happen every year in nineteen ninety eight though Congress passed the copyright term extension act it extended copyright protections for existing works for twenty years January first twenty nineteen so the first public domain dump since nineteen ninety eight for more on this host and you have a your recently spoke to Jennifer Jenkins a clinical professor of law and director of the center for the study of public domain at Duke University Jennifer thanks for joining me thanks so much for having me on the show tunes in so give us a couple of examples of maybe more of the popular works in the public domain and that some of our listeners might be familiar with well works from before copyright existed such as the works of Shakespeare the works of Mozart the works of Beethoven the works of Charles Dickens all of these are in the public domain and your listeners might be familiar with them because if you think think about the contributions of Shakespeare to our culture because Romeo and Juliet was in the public domain letter bursting was free to write West Side Story the movie's Gnomeo and Juliet and for me unless di did not have to get in touch with his errors and they were not subject to a veto and Shakespeare himself through in the public domain before him Romeo and Juliet you on Arthur Brooks the tragical history of Romeo and Juliet which in turn on all of its Pyramus and Thisbe and so your audience may be able to think of you know scores of works that drew on public domain material when something is not in the public domain what happens then because I understand that the song Happy Birthday was not in the public domain isn't that interesting it is now when something's not in the public domain that means that if you want to use the work you have to locate the copyright holder and you have to get permission from the copyright holder is welcome to say no are they can charge you a fair fee or they can charge you an exorbitant fee now this is a good thing copy rights are very important the public coming in as the yen to the gang of copyright protection so the design of the copyright system is there will be a term of copyright protection when you meet any of us you know enjoy exclusive rights over creative works then after a certain period of time that copyright expires in those works go into the public domain where anyone else is free to use and build upon them so there's some work entering the public domain and twenty twenty what might people be excited about what's coming into our public domain wonderful music so my favorite musical piece going to public domain is George Gershwin's Rhapsody in blue some literary works Thomas Mann's the magic mountain EM Forster's passage to India wonderful children's book a a Milne when we were very young there are also some wonderful silent films works featuring Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd silent film called Dante's inferno which itself to a public domain works Dante's divine comedy of course but also intermixing that with elements from Charles Dickens and the Christmas Carol so they're really great works going to the public domain next year and I know a lot of us are very excited about that so if

Jesse Widener of Klamath Film

Herald

05:40 min | 4 years ago

Jesse Widener of Klamath Film

"Heralded news news learn is now. Empowering the community base, slow the news, your news with falls, Oregon. Empowering the community and serving mclamb basin. This is the the news facing us pop. Greetings and welcome to base views heralded news podcast featuring interviews with local experts discussing issues important to the climate basin. I'm kirtland key with the herald news this week. We're joined by Jesse Widener Klamath film here to discuss one of my favorite topics, movies, upcoming events, such as the annual climate independent film festival and a special screening with a very special guest coming soon. Jesse, thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to join us here. Well, we will get into everything that Clem film entails and just a little bit. But I always like to start these things off a little bit of background on our guests themselves. Can you educate us a little bit more about who Jesse Widener? Sure. So I've actually got a fairly wide arts back there used to work as a draftsman architect California for about seven years before I moved up here, I've studied music composition, do some drawing some writing. I practiced photography for several years before I started getting into the film thing. So the film thing actually really comes from being the sort of great medium. It's an amalgamation of all these other disciplines that you. You can do kind of throw all these different dispirit interests into one thing. So what was the first video project that you worked on? The first project was probably the first project I did with Klamath film, and it was on one of those old. I don't say hold the nineties hand held nineties early two, thousands of Devi Cam with the digital video tape. And one of the first things I learned was that the screen on it is not as it shows brighter than what the actual film was. So I was exposing to the screen and when I actually took the footage home to work on, it was so dark. I had to crank everything is still looked nasty and black, and it was horrible. I'm from Hollywood is well, I grew up in Eugene, but I spent a long time in Hollywood and those Devi cameras there fuzzy because when I was working on a lot of projects, some of those cameras were fifty thousand eight hundred thousand dollars now that everything's gone digital. They're selling those things on EBay for one hundred bucks. People can't get rid of them. Yeah, yeah, ours, ours is more of a consumer grade one though that we were. We're using it was, you know, like something you'd pick up Fred Meyer or whatnot, and it just wasn't that hot and me not knowing what I was doing with it was even worse. So well, one thing that I have found fascinating being involved in film is the number of people like yourselves that got involved in simply by doing, didn't have formal Bagger. There are film schools that people can go to, but lots of times people just get involved when it for the sake of having an idea grabbing a camera and giving a try and kind of learning as you go. Right. That's a funny thing because I think you know, obviously the film industry is still young, maybe one hundred years, old hundred twenty years old. Just you know, it's not like painting or something like that, and it's been a master apprentice industry for a long, long time. You know, you start working on a film as gopher basically, and work your way up. And then at some point you did start getting into the film school stuff with that sort of seemed to be the advice path go to films go, go to USC, go to southern California, whatever the case maybe and then it not in the last probably twenty years with the advance. In technology with the internet, having all of these YouTube videos, and there's several channels that teach you how to do all these filmmaking techniques or whatnot. I think it's really democratized and commodities that industry where you can just from your house, you'll get a five hundred dollar camera. It's amazing compared to anything from, you know, ten twenty years ago and then sit on YouTube for your to do stuff. You know, the technology's advanced, but what's really fascinating to me as just a fan of film in general. I love going back to the old silent film era, the little black Charlie Chaplin Buster Keaton and stuff like that. And you look at the things that they were doing. They were inventing how films are made then. And while the technology may have changed the method for creating film really hasn't and over the course of a century, right? Yeah. The structure is generally isn't actually, I have a slight complaint about structure of fill. You know, when when film for start out, you're talking late, eighteen hundreds early nineteen hundreds and nobody really knew what to do with it. You know there was this massive creativity of, you know. What? What wild things can I do? You know what weird effects can I do? How can I freak people out that never seen something on screen like this and somewhere in the teens, the nineteen teens. It's sort of took on this the purpose of films to tell a story. And I think it's really been pigeonholed in that one hundred years. You know, it's it's like saying the purpose of painting before there was photography. The purpose of painting was to be as realistic as possible and the medium geared towards that realism until in the eighteen hundreds of the camera came out and they realize somebody could just snap a picture. So you know what was the point of painting now that's when you saw painting expand into, you know, pression ISM and surrealism and Dada. ISM cubism and Jackson Pollock jap- technique and all this kind of wild stuff. And

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