Buster Keaton: The Persistence of Comedy PDF ↠ The



10 thoughts on “Buster Keaton: The Persistence of Comedy

  1. Tracy Sherman Tracy Sherman says:

    When you read a biography of someone who's work you love and it's written by an author who also loves the same subject it's magic Yes it's magic but it's not often a good biography because it can be fawning obseuious or just plain sickening It's easy to see the author of Buster Keaton The Persistence of Comedy Imogen Sara Smith clearly loves Buster and may very well be in love with him But What's not to love?It seems anyone who picks up this or any book about Buster loves him in someway if not why try to find out about someone whose greatest films are almost 100 years old?No matter how you feel about Keaton you won't be disappointed by Ms Smith's book I've seen Buster's silent movies multiple times and I've read most of the major biographies and explorations of his work There was still a lot to be gotten from The Persistence of Comedy It's not a linear biography which I actually appreciate The author jumps around a little bit in order to fill in certain points and information about Keaton's life What I mainly got from the book that I had not known before were people's personal observation about Buster himself aside from his work It was very interesting to hear what an intensely private and shy man he was although not at all surprising as this is exactly how many comedians interact with the world when they're not performing Many biographies people have devoted time and energy to his work but they present Buster himself as a kind of cypher sometimes a dullard or as has he self proclaimed The hole in the donut The wonderful revelation in this book is just how good and kind and wonderful a man he was and how that never changed no matter what his fortunes were whether he was on the top of the film world or on the bottom This book is not a psychological biography nor is it an in depth exploration of his films yet there was much here that was new to me and also a lot that was a pleasure to read again Ms Smith doesn't shy away from Buster's troubled times after he joined MGM and control of his pictures were taken away from him and his wife left him The alcoholism and the adultery is all there but she doesn't dwell on this and she certainly does not presented him as many authors have as Poor Buster There's a lot of information about Keaton's apprenticeship and friendship with Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle his relationship with his family and his relationship with his first wife The one uote that sums up this book and sums up Buster Keaton's life for me is by his third wife Eleanor Buster was making his greatest films almost across the street from her when she first entered elementary school She was 19 when she married him in 1940 he was then 100 a week gag man for the studio where he had once been the third highest paid star MGM They were together until his death in 1966 When asked why she married a man twice her age whose fortunes were at their lowest ebb she said Everyone who met Buster fell in love with him and I just went with the crowd It's clear to see from this book that people myself included are still going along with the crowd


  2. Jason Jason says:

    I really enjoyed this book which doubles as a biography AND critiue of Buster Keaton's major works from 1917 to 1966 It dispels with the myth of Keaton as a modern Pagliacci which was enlightening I didn't always agree with the author's critiues especially when it came to some of the sound shorts of the early 40's Pest From the West is trashed here while I find it very strong The breakdown of Keaton's 1st two marriages and time spent being a ladies man was dealt with in an elouent fashion I also liked that the author didn't dwell too much on the years lost to alcoholism Buster didn't so why should everyone else? There is a timeless uality to Keaton's work and Imogen Sara Smith does an exceptional job of capturing why


  3. Mike O& Mike O& says:

    I loved this bookIt has its faults a tendency to spend too much time explaining plots and the occasional lapse into gushing adoration but it presents a rounded and subtle exploration of Keaton's character and art Not that Buster ever called it art In fact he mistrusted all the intellectual theories about what his work meant For him it was a craft and nothing However Smith shows how this was in some ways a defence mechanism for he was sensitive to his lack of formal education and never analysed his art Keaton comes across as an incredible resilient and stoical person who never showed an ounce of self pity for his fall onto hard times after the coming of sound films He was an intensely shy man who seemed to be liked and admired by all those around him


  4. Neil Neil says:

    A minor entry in the myriad number of Keaton biographies but a good one Neither muckraking Buster's alcoholism and womanising is gone into but fairly or idolatrous Buster is presented as the greatest of the silent clowns but he's not put on a highly intellectual purely artistic level with the likes of Beckett or Picasso Smith's text is highly readable I picked up on a few minor mistakes but they are minor and her portrait of Keaton is as good and enlightened a one as I have read


  5. Oliver Ho Oliver Ho says:

    Excellent overview of his films career and life A good balance of interpretation and biography and also a very good survey of other books and articles about Keaton I think I will re read this at some point Great insights about how interpretations of Keaton reflect the pop psychology of the day


  6. Emilie Emilie says:

    The best book on Keaton in print and I've read most of them Smith gets Keaton's comic philosophy artistry and style like no other She puts into words what so many of us BK fans feel about the man and his work the emotional attachment we have to this allegedly unfeeling stone faced comedian and filmmakerI read this book often I always take it with me on trips


  7. Mark Schoen Mark Schoen says:

    Keaton's films are funny and serious silly and beautiful My personal favorites are “Sherlock Jr” and “One Week” Check out this great appreciation of Buster on YouTube


  8. Kevin Jones Kevin Jones says:

    How could the same person be the existential icon for modernity and the pitchman for Alka Seltzer on television commercials? Imogen Sara Smith answers this uestion thoughtfully and thoroughly in examining the life of Buster Keaton Like the frozen fire of his deadpan facial expression Keaton was a man of contradictions and extremes Smith approaches these aspects of Keaton’s character expertly and ultimately reveals a genius whose uncanny expression reflects back what viewers critics and fans want to see This was a great emotionally sensitive biography that also contained a fascinating portrait of early Hollywood Highly recommended


  9. Rob Samuelson Rob Samuelson says:

    I picked this up months ago and then kept forgetting to get back to it I’m dumb because this is one of the finest pieces of film criticism and biography I’ve read Smith’s descriptive skills are through the roof with every twitch every mechanical fall by Buster Keaton described grippingly But than that her argument for Keaton’s worldview one that blends the high and the low ambition with humility taking your actions as seriously as possible while humiliating yourself for the audience—balance in other words—is inspired and inspiring


  10. Julia Julia says:

    So funny it hurts; so thoughtful it makes one glad to be a reader viewer of the filmsA giant Buster Keaton fan the only real uestion is what took me so long to get around to reading this wonderful book I've read many or perhaps all of the biographies and Keaton's own autobiography I've seen most of his features and most of the shorts too The author may have written this for me and others who are obsessed with the serious about comedy but this book is also for people who are new to the Keaton ouvre I'm very glad to have read it


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Buster Keaton: The Persistence of Comedy [Epub] ➚ Buster Keaton: The Persistence of Comedy By Imogen Sara Smith – Thomashillier.co.uk Buster Keaton the Persistence of Comedy tells of the most dazzling and enigmatic of the silent clowns a man who began his career in vaudeville as one third of the Three Keatons joining his parents at Buster Keaton the Persistence of Comedy tells of The Persistence Kindle Ô the most dazzling and enigmatic of the silent clowns a man who began his career in vaudeville as one third of the Three Keatons joining his parents at age four in their legendarily violent knockabout comedy act He rose to the peak of his fame and artistic Buster Keaton: PDF or triumph while still in his twenties directing and starring in a string of classic silent comedies including his masterpiece The General only to fall from grace with shattering swiftness in the early s The coming of sound and the sea change it brought to the movie industry combined with Keaton's loss of creative independence personal troubles Keaton: The Persistence ePUB ´ and a severe drinking problem almost ended his career He persevered through years of eclipse eventually making a comeback on television in the s and living to see himself acclaimed as one of cinema's immortals Delving beneath the familiar facts to uncover Keaton's essential character as an artist The Persistence of Comedy examines his life and work on both sides of the camera to create a rich portrait of the face the body the personality and the intelligence that went into his movies and continue to fascinate us because of his embodiment of paradoxes artist and comic director and performer stuntman and subtle actor icon of the machine age and lyrical portraitist of America's past Opposing ualities of irony and sweetness logic and absurdity passion and impassiveness don't just coexist in Keaton's films and character they are fused so completely that it is impossible to see where one ends and the other begins Exploring controversies and unresolved uestions engaging previous criticism and offering new insights ThePersistence of Comedy pays tribute to Keaton's complexity and enduring relevance His story inspires a meditation on the serious business of his comedy the comic stance in life and Keaton's own singular bone deep version of it Illustrated with rare stills and drawing from a wide range of sources including never before uncovered interviews with Keaton's wives this is an elegant celebration of Buster Keaton for both those already familiar with him and the newcomer.