The Great Buster: A Celebration

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  The Great Buster: A Celebration
 

Anyone who has seen just snippets of old silent movies has most likely seen Buster Keaton. But, all but the hard core film fans know next to nothing about the comedic genius of “The Great Stone Face.” Peter Bogdanovich brings together filmmakers, actors and comedians to sing their praises for “The Great Buster: A Celebration.”

Robin:
If you think you know Buster Keaton’s work, think again. Bogdanovich shows his obvious love and respect in this very thorough documentary of the man, his sometimes turbulent life and the artistry of his films. The documentary assembles an astonishing number of filmmakers and comedians who all bow down to Keaton for what he gave to their business. The list of personalities involved ranges from the obvious, like Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner, to the unexpected, like Werner Herzog, and many, many more

I have not seen many of Buster Keaton’s many movies, either silent and sound, but I have seen enough – I recently had the pleasure to watch “The General (1926)” and, 92 years later, it is still fresh and funny (and based on a real incident during the Civil War) – to recognize genius. Just watching Buster Keaton perform is a real treat and “The Great Buster” had me laughing throughout. Remember, we are talking about comedy that is a century old and still hilarious. I give it a B+.

Laura:
This biographical documentary from Peter Bogdanovich charts the life of Buster Keaton from his beginnings working in his parents vaudevile act through his pioneering silent films and later supporting roles and commercial work.  The film is loaded with clips which provide more laughs than most commercial comedies.  Talking heads include the likes of  Mel Brooks, speaking about how he used Keaton's breaking of the fourth wall, "Spider-Man" producer/writer Jon Watts on coopting 'The Great Stone Face' for his masked Superhero and Johnny Knoxville on the complexity of his stunts.  Grade:  B
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