FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Buster Keaton |||
Buster Keaton

If you like Chaplin you will absolutely love Keaton, who is widely acknowledged for being one of the greatest directors of all time, a great screen legend and one of our finest actors, as well as one of the three top comedians in silent era Hollywood, and a true pioneer for the independent filmmaker; producing, controlling and owning his films.

Offered as one of three films in the Buster Keaton Collection, The Cameraman is Buster at his deadpan funniest. After becoming infatuated with a pretty office worker for a Newsreel company, Buster picks up a movie camera and sets out to impress the girl, which makes for some very interesting, visually groundbreaking and cleaver footage, capturing the essence of what it was like to be an innovative cameraman.

Based on a true incident, “The General” is a classic of silent screen comedy. Keaton is a Southern engineer whose train is hijacked by Union forces, which leads to a classic locomotive chase and some truly impressive and hilarious stunts, some of which could only be produced by CGI today.

Sherlock Jr is one of the comic's most inventive efforts (introducing a concept oft repeated) depicting a movie projectionist entering the film he's running in order to solve a jewelry theft. Known for doing his own stunts as well as filling in for his costars, Keaton actually fractures his neck on screen as the water from a basin flows from a tube and washes him onto the track.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

Advertisement

More On The Train Wreck Waiting to Happen Friday

By EdwardHavens

June 13th, 2001

One of our faithful readers, Bone, saw our report about Tomb Raider a couple of days ago and wanted to add some background about the incident with Simon West during one of the test screening of the movie. You see... Bone is, as they say, in the know...


"Obviously, we had known we were going to have a research screening of an "unknown" movie. No one was allowed to know the title of the movie. The only reason I knew what movie it was, was because the retards who built the print wrote Tomb Raider on the tail. Plus the fact that they MADE me watch it.

"The Paramount people and technicians, as well as the Dolby tech, had gotten to our theatre early the morning of the screening. Simon West showed up some time in the afternoon. By then the print had already been build and everything had been setup. They played the movie for him.

"When it was over, I kid you not, he came out of the auditorium screaming and yelling saying, 'This movie is a piece of shit' and 'No one's going to like this fucking movie.' He immediately got on the phone and called the editors to tell them to get their asses on the next flight out to our theatre. They arrived quicker than the paparazzi at any Madonna attended function and began to chop the film up. Cutting here and splicing there.

"Showtime was at 7:00 PM. The Paramount people said they needed someone to watch the entire movie from the booth to make sure nothing goes wrong. Needless to say, they volunteered me. I tried to get out of it saying that I had three prints of Pearl Harbor to build (which I did). They didn't buy any of it. Bastards. So I stood and watched the whole movie. I'll tell you, I'm not a fan of the game. I've never played it and I never plan too. I wasn't too impressed with it. It was okay. Some cool parts. Some not so cool parts. The movie was 6 reels long.

"After the screening was over, West again came out of the auditorium (this time with the crowd of over 800) still swearing and saying his own movie was a 'fucking piece of shit.' The other projectionists and I were, of course, laughing the whole time. West never came up into the booth. He was always busy down in the lobby talking to people.

"When time came for everyone to leave, the guy tearing down the print screwed it up big time. I don't know if he had ever torn down a print in his life. Somewhere in the fifth reel, the platter kept spinning when he slowed down the make up table. He saw this so he sped up the make up table which in turn caused the rollers to pull the film tight and crunch it all up. It was really funny.

"We had a trade screening of Tomb Raider last week and it was only 5 reels. Down from the 6 for the research screening. We got 2 finished copies the other day and they are 6 reels with the last reel being only credits. Neither the research print nor the trade print had credits. I've watched all three versions and I didn't really notice a difference. Then again, I don't really care."

Thanks Bone. Savant would also like me to add his own review: "It really really sucks ass."