Watch: Buster Keaton’s Immortal Gags, and Their Influence
With expected aplomb and sensitivity, Tony Zhou’s newest piece gives us a peek inside the mind of Buster Keaton. Not satisfied with merely stringing together a group of gags, which would be cinematic nourishment enough in and of itself, this video essay breaks down some parts of Keaton’s gags, such as the action performed within them, the importance of the camera angle for a gag’s humor, and the physical rules of the world in which the gag occurs, while also looking at Keaton’s influence on directors such as Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola. Because of the nature of Keaton’s humor, knowing these things about his jokes doesn’t ruin them–on the contrary, it makes them richer and stranger. And it doesn’t hurt to learn that he did so many of his own stunts…
Watch: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Meets Buster Keaton (Really)
Once upon a time, there were two directors. One was named George Miller and the other was named Buster Keaton. They lived many, many years apart, and their films were very, very different from each other. George Miller directed the ‘Mad Max’ films, a series of apocalyptic car chase action social commentary science fiction road movie romance thrillers (set in Australia, maybe), while Buster Keaton directed and starred in silent comedies, dependent largely on slapstick and a vast Rolodex of remarkable facial expressions. One day, a film editor named Walter Rafelsberger discovered that if he put the soundtrack to ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘ (2015) behind a famous chase scene from a Keaton film called ‘The General‘ (1926), the two parts… just… fit! And the result is what you see above.