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Sherlock Jr. is Keaton's most enduring commentary on the cinema, the beautiful machine that has the power to make artists of us all. Buster plays a projectionist who dreams his way onto the screen and into a movie in which he resolves the conflicts of his own life. As early as 1925 Sherlock Jr. was recognized by René Clair for its Pirandello-like dramatic structure, and it was much admired by the French Surrealists. The film is equally impressive for Keaton's brilliantly modulated acrobatics-offscreen, the hapless hero hoists himself on his own banana peel, but on, he can ride on the handlebars of a driverless motorcycle, make a boat out of a car, and perform any number of cinematic miracles without special effects.

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