Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton, Ward Crane,
Andrew Sarris called it Keaton’s 8 1/2, and in the end Sherlock Jr. will be Keaton’s most enduring commentary on the art of cinema, which 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, cinematic miracles performed without special effects.
The Frozen North
Eddie Cline, Buster Keaton, United States, 1922
“Two-Gun Bill” emerges from a subway kiosk to find himself in the middle of nowhere.
Eddie Cline, Buster Keaton, United States, 1921
In an homage to the vaudeville of Keaton’s youth, he plays the audience, the orchestra, and the performers of a small playhouse. The use of blackface was an all-too-common holdover from vaudeville.