Filmmakers as children
1: Carl Theodor Dreyer, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Spike Lee
2: David Cronenberg, Kinuyo Tanaka, Sergei Eisenstein
3: Glauber Rocha, Věra Chytilová, Krzysztof Kieślowski
4: Shuji Terayama, Guru Dutt, Buster Keaton
5: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Orson Welles, Jia Zhangke
6: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Agnès Varda
7: Sergei Parajanov, Larisa Shepitko, Ritwik Ghatak

When filmmakers meet…


"I adore Buster Keaton." — Luis Buñuel
"Just thinking about him moves me. He is one of my witnesses when I say that some of the very best filmmakers were athletes. He was the quintessential athlete, a real acrobat." — Werner Herzog
"My favorite director of all time is Buster Keaton, and it goes deeper than just being a comedian, because he is a great director and actor and funny in an extremely human way." — Jim Jarmusch
"Keaton had a great influence on me. A lot of his moves I intuitively copied in doing some numbers. I know I was thinking of him when I did a dance with a squeaky board and a newspaper. I didn’t look like him, but I often wish I did. He was a complete genius, and there was a lot of dance inherent in his movements." — Gene Kelly
"Bach is timeless. So is Masaccio. So is Buster Keaton…" — Satyajit Ray
"Keaton was beyond all praise, a very great artist, and one of the most beautiful men I ever saw on the screen. He was also a superb director. In the last analysis, nobody came near him." — Orson Welles

"I adore Buster Keaton." — Luis Buñuel

"Just thinking about him moves me. He is one of my witnesses when I say that some of the very best filmmakers were athletes. He was the quintessential athlete, a real acrobat." — Werner Herzog

"My favorite director of all time is Buster Keaton, and it goes deeper than just being a comedian, because he is a great director and actor and funny in an extremely human way." — Jim Jarmusch

"Keaton had a great influence on me. A lot of his moves I intuitively copied in doing some numbers. I know I was thinking of him when I did a dance with a squeaky board and a newspaper. I didn’t look like him, but I often wish I did. He was a complete genius, and there was a lot of dance inherent in his movements." — Gene Kelly

"Bach is timeless. So is Masaccio. So is Buster Keaton…" — Satyajit Ray

"Keaton was beyond all praise, a very great artist, and one of the most beautiful men I ever saw on the screen. He was also a superb director. In the last analysis, nobody came near him." — Orson Welles

Joseph, Myra, and Buster: The Three Keatons

I saw the great days of vaudeville. I got in just in time to see vaudeville go from the ten, twenty, and thirty-cent admission fees to the two dollar. And, in fact, The Three Keatons, that’s what we were called, we held Hammerstein’s Theater record for playing it the most times. You were only supposed to play there about once a year, and if they liked you, you got to play there twice a year. We used to average four to six times a year.

Well, my old man was an eccentric comic. And soon as I could take care of myself at all on my feet, he had slap shoes on me and big baggy pants, and then just started doing gags with me, especially kicking me clean across the stage or taking me by the back of the neck and throwing me. And as I grew used to doing it and knew how to do it, the throws became longer and by the time I got up to around seven and eight years old, we were called the roughest act that was ever in the history of the stage.

We used to get arrested every other week—the old man would get arrested, see. Once they took me to the mayor of New York City, into his private office, with the city physicians here in New York, and they stripped me to examine me for broken bones and bruises. Finding none, they mayor gave me permission to work. The next time it happened, the following year, they sent me to Albany, to the governor of the state. Then in his office, same thing: state physicians examined me, and they gave me permission to work in New York State.

In Massachusetts, for instance, they thought I was a midget. They took it for granted. But we were arrested many times. But, we always managed to get around the law because the law read: No child under the age of sixteen shall do acrobatics, walk wire, play musical instruments, trapeze—and it named everything—but none of them said you couldn’t kick him in the face.

I developed the “Stone Face” thing quite naturally. I just happened to be, even as a small kid, I happened to be the type of comic that couldn’t laugh at his own material. I soon learned at an awful early age that when I laughed the audience didn’t. So, by the time I got into pictures, that was a natural way of working.

[Buster Keaton: Interviews]

Buster Keaton’s Collegeby Luis Buñuel (from Cahiers d’Art, 1927)
Here’s Buster Keaton in his wonderful new movie, College. Asepsia. Disinfection. Freed from tradition, our eyes have been rejuvenated in the youthful and restrained world of Buster, a great specialist against sentimental infection of all kinds. The film was as beautiful as a bathroom; with a Hispano’s vitality. Buster will never seek to make us cry, because he knows facile tears are old hat. He’s not, though, the kind of clown who’ll make us howl with laughter. We never stop smiling for an instant, not at him, but at ourselves, with the smile of well-being and Olympian strength.
We will always prefer, in cinema, the monotonous mien of a Keaton to the infinitesimal one of a Jannings. Filmmakers abuse the latter, multiplying the slightest contraction of his facial muscles to the nth degree. Grief in Jannings is a prism with a hundred faces. This is why he’s capable of acting on a surface fifty meters wide and, if asked for “a bit more,” will contrive to show us that you could base a whole film on nothing other than his face, a film called Jannings’ Expression; or, The Permutations of M Wrinkles Raised to the Power of n².
In Buster Keaton’s case his expression is as unpretentious as a bottle’s, for instance; albeit that his aseptic soul pirouettes around the circular and unambiguous track of his pupils. But the bottle and Buster’s face have infinite points of view.
They are wheels that must accomplish their mission in the rhythmic and architectonic gearing of the film. Montage—film’s golden key—is what combines, comments on, and unifies all these elements. Is greater cinegraphic virtue attainable? The inferiority of the “antivirtuoso” Buster, when compared to Chaplin, has been argued for, turning this to the disadvantage of the former, something akin to a stigma, while the rest of us deem it a virtue that Keaton creates comedy through a direct harmony with the implements, situations, and other resources of filmmaking. Keaton is full of humanity, but streets ahead of a recent and increate humanity, of humanity à la mode, if you like.
Much is made of the technique of films like Metropolis and Napoléon. That of films like College is never referred to, and that’s because the latter is so indissolubly mixed with the other elements that it isn’t even noticed, just as when living in a house we remain unaware of the calculus of resistance of the materials that go to form it. Superfilms must serve to give lessons to technicians: those of Keaton to give lessons to reality itself, with or without the technique of reality.
The Jannings School: European school: sentimentalism, a bias toward art and literature, tradition, etc.: John Barrymore, Veidt, Mosjoukine, etc.…
The Keaton School: American School: vitality, photogenia, a lack of noxious culture and tradition: Monte Blue, Laura la Plante, Bebe Daniels, Tom Moore, Menjou, Harry Langdon, etc.…

Buster Keaton’s College
by Luis Buñuel (from Cahiers d’Art, 1927)

Here’s Buster Keaton in his wonderful new movie, College. Asepsia. Disinfection. Freed from tradition, our eyes have been rejuvenated in the youthful and restrained world of Buster, a great specialist against sentimental infection of all kinds. The film was as beautiful as a bathroom; with a Hispano’s vitality. Buster will never seek to make us cry, because he knows facile tears are old hat. He’s not, though, the kind of clown who’ll make us howl with laughter. We never stop smiling for an instant, not at him, but at ourselves, with the smile of well-being and Olympian strength.

We will always prefer, in cinema, the monotonous mien of a Keaton to the infinitesimal one of a Jannings. Filmmakers abuse the latter, multiplying the slightest contraction of his facial muscles to the nth degree. Grief in Jannings is a prism with a hundred faces. This is why he’s capable of acting on a surface fifty meters wide and, if asked for “a bit more,” will contrive to show us that you could base a whole film on nothing other than his face, a film called Jannings’ Expression; or, The Permutations of M Wrinkles Raised to the Power of n².

In Buster Keaton’s case his expression is as unpretentious as a bottle’s, for instance; albeit that his aseptic soul pirouettes around the circular and unambiguous track of his pupils. But the bottle and Buster’s face have infinite points of view.

They are wheels that must accomplish their mission in the rhythmic and architectonic gearing of the film. Montage—film’s golden key—is what combines, comments on, and unifies all these elements. Is greater cinegraphic virtue attainable? The inferiority of the “antivirtuoso” Buster, when compared to Chaplin, has been argued for, turning this to the disadvantage of the former, something akin to a stigma, while the rest of us deem it a virtue that Keaton creates comedy through a direct harmony with the implements, situations, and other resources of filmmaking. Keaton is full of humanity, but streets ahead of a recent and increate humanity, of humanity à la mode, if you like.

Much is made of the technique of films like Metropolis and Napoléon. That of films like College is never referred to, and that’s because the latter is so indissolubly mixed with the other elements that it isn’t even noticed, just as when living in a house we remain unaware of the calculus of resistance of the materials that go to form it. Superfilms must serve to give lessons to technicians: those of Keaton to give lessons to reality itself, with or without the technique of reality.

The Jannings School: European school: sentimentalism, a bias toward art and literature, tradition, etc.: John Barrymore, Veidt, Mosjoukine, etc.…

The Keaton School: American School: vitality, photogenia, a lack of noxious culture and tradition: Monte Blue, Laura la Plante, Bebe Daniels, Tom Moore, Menjou, Harry Langdon, etc.…

Buster KeatonOctober 4, 1895 — February 1, 1966
"Keaton was beyond all praise, a very great artist, and one of the most beautiful men I ever saw on the screen. He was also a superb director. In the last analysis, nobody came near him. I was lucky enough to get to know him fairly well just at the end of his days. The Stage Door Canteen—a sort of cabaret-restaurant for servicemen run by show people—we both used to work there. I did magic and he washed dishes, for God’s sake. Keaton, one of the giants! What about The General—that’s a truly great movie, isn’t it? Now, finally, Keaton’s been ‘discovered.’ Too late to do him any good, of course—he lived all those long years in eclipse, and then, just as the sun was coming out again, he died. I wish I’d known him better than I did. A tremendously nice person, you know, but also a man of secrets. I can’t even imagine what they were.” — Orson Welles

Buster Keaton
October 4, 1895 — February 1, 1966

"Keaton was beyond all praise, a very great artist, and one of the most beautiful men I ever saw on the screen. He was also a superb director. In the last analysis, nobody came near him. I was lucky enough to get to know him fairly well just at the end of his days. The Stage Door Canteen—a sort of cabaret-restaurant for servicemen run by show people—we both used to work there. I did magic and he washed dishes, for God’s sake. Keaton, one of the giants! What about The General—that’s a truly great movie, isn’t it? Now, finally, Keaton’s been ‘discovered.’ Too late to do him any good, of course—he lived all those long years in eclipse, and then, just as the sun was coming out again, he died. I wish I’d known him better than I did. A tremendously nice person, you know, but also a man of secrets. I can’t even imagine what they were.” — Orson Welles

Buster KeatonFilmIcons
09 / 14 / 2012 3176   originally from maudit   via maudit
Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati, and Harold Lloyd.

Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati, and Harold Lloyd.

Buster Keaton during the making of Film (1965).

Buster Keaton during the making of Film (1965).