Monday, February 08, 2010

Buster Keaton

Prompted by Charles Simic's blog for the New York Review of Books, let me say that I'm all for a Buster Keaton revival.

Somebody once called Buster the Charlie Poole of silent films. Or maybe it was the other way around, and someone once called Charlie Poole the Buster Keaton of string-band music. Some of my favorite Buster moments are those where he's riffing like a jazz musician with Fatty Arbuckle. But I like everything, at least until Buster began to talk.

For all Busterites, as well as anyone interested in L.A. history, go out an buy a copy of John Bengston's Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton. A work of true urban archeology, perhaps the sort of thing that Mike Davis should have perused before writing City of Quartz.

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