Sunday, April 4, 2004

Buster Keaton

How I love Buster Keaton! I love his films. I love his never smiling face. I love his inventive brilliance. My wife and I own the recently released eleven disc boxed set of DVD's featuring many of Keaton's silent films. We have watched them all.
Two excellent books on the actor which I read in rapid succession are Keaton: The Man Who Wouldn't Lie Down, by Tom Dardis, and Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase, by Marion Meade. I liked each of them a great deal.
I read Dardis' book first. It is one of the earliest books on Keaton, and contains a number of quotations by Louise Brooks regarding the "great stone face." (Dardis had interviewed Brooks, and had also corresponded with the actress.) Dardis' book is anecdotal and sympathetic in its telling of Keaton's rise and fall and rediscovery as an actor and film genius. When I was done, I wanted more. That's when I turned to Meade's detailed and thoroughly researched biography. The two books compliment each other.

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