Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Description - The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton by Robert Knopf

Famous for their stunts, gags, and images, Buster Keaton's silent films have enticed everyone from Hollywood movie fans to the surrealists, such as Dali and Bunuel. Here Robert Knopf offers an unprecedented look at the wide-ranging appeal of Keaton's genius, considering his vaudeville roots and his ability to integrate this aesthetic into the techniques of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1920s. When young Buster was being hurled about the stage by his comically irate father in the family's vaudeville act, The Three Keatons, he was perfecting his acrobatic skills, timing, visual humor, and trademark "stone face." As Knopf demonstrates, such theatrics would serve Keaton well as a film director and star. By isolating elements of vaudeville within works that have previously been considered "classical," Knopf reevaluates Keaton's films and how they function. The book combines vivid visual descriptions and illustrations that enable us to see Keaton at work staging his memorable images and gags, such as a three-story wall collapsing on him (Steamboat Bill, Jr., 1928) and an avalanche of boulders chasing him down a mountainside (Seven Chances, 1925).Knopf explains how Keaton's stunts and gags served as fanciful departures from his films' storylines and how they nonetheless reinforced a strange sense of reality, that of a machine-like world with a mind of its own. In comparison to Chaplin and Lloyd, Keaton made more elaborate use of natural locations. The scene in The Navigator, for example, where Buster brandishes a swordfish to fend off another swordfish derives much of its power from actually being shot under water. Such "hyper-literalism" was but one element of Keaton's films that inspired the surrealists. Exploring Keaton's influence on Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Robert Desnos, Knopf suggests that Keaton's achievement extends beyond Hollywood into the avant-garde. The book concludes with an examination of Keaton's late-career performances in Gerald Potterton's The Railrodder and Samuel Beckett's Film, and locates his legacy in the work of Jackie Chan, Blue Man Group, and Bill Irwin.

Buy The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton by Robert Knopf from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780691004426
ISBN-10: 0691004420
Format: Paperback / softback
(235mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 232
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 2-Aug-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton by Robert Knopf

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton book by Robert Knopf and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review

Author Biography - Robert Knopf

Robert Knopf is Assistant Professor of Theater at the University of Michigan. With Bert Cardullo, he is the co-editor of Theater of the Avant-Garde, 1890-1950 (forthcoming).

Books By Robert Knopf

Director as Collaborator by Robert Knopf
Paperback, April 2017
$46.63 $52.99
Script Analysis for Theatre by Robert Knopf
Paperback, February 2017
$39.59 $44.99
Theater of the Avant-Garde, 1890-1950 by Robert Knopf
Paperback / softback, February 2015
$46.63 $52.99