Buster Keaton Analysis

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Buster Keaton is a prominent American film comedian who rose to fame during the silent film era. Keaton aided in the development of American comedy through the original content and unique style of performance shown in his films. In many of Keaton 's films, he showcases the way in which his character attempted to disentangle himself from various conflicts that arose through the use of different comedic devices, such as physical comedy and impassive facial expressions. Keaton 's use of such devices created a humorous effect for his audience, which, in turn, produced for him a massive following. As the style of comedic films evolved throughout the 1920s, Buster Keaton implemented new components or changes into his acting and movies to continue…show more content…
The public regarded ‘Sherlock Jr.’ as one of Buster Keaton 's greatest films. Told through the use of various visual effects and in-camera tricks, ‘Sherlock Jr.’ depicts the story of an impecunious film projectionist aspiring to become a detective. However, conflict arises as the protagonist becomes framed for the crime of robbing a watch belonging to the father of his love interest. Following the false accusation, the protagonist returns to complete his duties as a film projectionist, before falling asleep and awakening as the detective in the film. The protagonist is able to solve the crime which translates off of the screen, leading to the exposure of the man that conspired against him. Throughout the 1900s, actors of comedy films relied heavily upon the standard slapstick comedy and bizarre wardrobes to amuse their audience members; however, such methods began to lose its initial effects following the next coming years. According to the newspaper article entitled, ‘Keaton Relates Comedy Secrets’ published by the Los Angeles Times in May of 1922, Keaton describes the way in which audience members no longer care for such cliched components. Keaton states, “Now things are different. Now it is the funny situation that creates the laughter, and personality counts. The comedy is on a much higher plane than formerly. Personal touches and human incidents taken from everyday life bring laughter today” (1). In order to continue creating humorous content for his audience to enjoy,…show more content…
The era of silent film generated many phenomenal film comedians. Buster Keaton was among one of the most well-known and successful actors of his time alongside Charlie Chaplin. In the article entitled, ‘A Star is Born’, the author Charles J. Maland describes the way in which Charlie Chaplin developed a unique persona known as the ‘tramp’ he displayed through the use of slapstick methods during his time at Keystone and Essanay. Chaplin’s use of physically exaggerated movements became a trademark in many of his films. In order to differentiate from other actors, an original and distinctive characteristic was necessary to possess. At a young age, Buster Keaton performed with a stoic facial expression during dangerous stunts and absurd situations. Keaton included impassive facial expressions throughout much of his work as an actor. In ‘Sherlock Jr.’ there is a scene where the main character is riding a motorcycle at a fast speed, passing by trains and cars. However, appears to be apathetic and creates a comedic effect. Keaton’s blank facial expressions became a trademark of his and appeared in many other of his films. ‘Sherlock Jr.’ effectively shows Keaton 's personalized comedic style based on the showcasing on a unique
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