Watch: Buster Keaton’s Immortal Gags, and Their Influence

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: What Props Do for The Films in Which They Appear, and Vice Versa

Watch: What Props Do for The Films in Which They Appear, and Vice Versa

Can the heart of a film be its props? The light saber. The movie camera. The gun. The tape deck. These are all things we see as we watch our Spielberg, our Andersons, our Hitchcocks, our Godards, and yet we somehow view them as incidental. Rishi Kaneria argues, with this new video essay, that they are essential. He has set himself a difficult exercise here and exceeded its limits, taking us through the use of seemingly incidental items from the beginnings of film to its most recent developments.