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Monday, January 24, 2011

Keaton takes a Beatin

It is no surprise to residents that Michigan has become the Hollywood of the Midwest, Michigan is a haven for talent, offers gorgeous vistas of the urban as well as rural kind and often been a hiding place for a myriad of various famous folks. For Kid Rock, Madonna, Elmore Leonard and Jack White, Michigan is the birth place, but for actors, painters, and other sundry talents, Michigan is a wealth of hidden pockets in which to regroup, relax and connect to nature. There is an interesting web page offering insight to one such group, an actor's colony in Muskegon. The Actor's Colony Club where Joe Keaton, father of Buster, met with his cronies. 

As vaudeville was turning to film, little Buster was learning his craft at the feet of great talents. As I recently begun to revisit some of my favorite Silent Films (with the help of my secret consultant and unnamed source) I find a connection with Keaton - a love of Michigan summers.....

My first awareness of Buster Keaton was through shorts, shown on various television programs. But as a first true memory, it was a curiosity brought on by watching wonderful mindless romps of summer fun: 

"Beach Blanket Bingo" (1965) - Just makes me laugh thinking about it - a silly film, filled with incredible comic talent - Paul Lynde, Don Rickles, Harvey Lembeck and then that face, Buster Keaton, appears- I know him- become curious about why he is so familiar......

OH yeah, he's that guy in: 

"It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" (1963)- So many greats in this absurd film Buster does get lost among the craziness- delightful silly fun - but keep your eye out - for his moments are what film comedy is all about. 

But that makes me interested enough to follow up by watching: 

"Sherlock, Jr." (1924) - One of his very first features- a thrill to watch (look for all those ideas stolen over time by other film makers and comics- its a tribute to his talent) And I happen to know its available at Amazon or Ebay- anywhere from 3 to 20 bucks.....

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