Buster Keaton, Charles Samuels, My Wonderful World of Slapstick (USA: De Capo Press, 1982). Easily the most personal account of the silent film star, this indispensable book was co-written by Keaton himself. While it's not the most objective source - Keaton's memory or interpretation of certain events is rather unclear - it's an enjoyable and well-written memoir; offering some key facts and recollections. He delves quite a bit into his family life, dispelling some rumours and ruminating at length about his early years in the family vaudeville act (wherein he would perform the dangerous and creative stunts that became his trademark). From his later association with fellow silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, through to his breakthrough as a leading man in early Hollywood, the book covers some fertile ground. It is, however, frustratingly brief - only touching the surface. Keaton glosses over the troubles he faced (such as his broken first marriage, or his clinical depression), making the book incomplete. My Wonderful World of Slapstick is most notable for providing an insight into Keaton's creative process - the formation of a visual gag for instance - and the writing makes his voice clear. We are given the impression that Keaton was a man without pretension, and his sense of humour remained intact toward the end of his life. While the lack of focus on his key films disappointed many critics, the book represents his only recorded memoir.
Eleanor Keaton, Jeffrey Vance, Buster Keaton Remembered (USA: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2001). Equally personal, due to the involvement of his widow Eleanor, Buster Keaton Remembered traces his career and background in more depth. Detailing his rise from two-re...
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...d=3363). A comprehensive review of Keaton's most famous work. Brooke chooses to highlight the star/director's technical achievements, and his place as a true innovator of American comedy cinema. The writer notes: "Keaton's control of this material is masterly throughout, whether it's the large-scale set-pieces (including what was then the single most expensive shot in film history) or the smaller, more intimate moments, such as the iconic image of a lovesick Keaton sitting on the metal bar joining the wheels of his train, oblivious to the fact that it's starting to move". As with other critics, Brooke is all-too aware of Keaton's influence on filmmaking.
Internet Movie Database: Buster Keaton (USA: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000036/). The IMDb entry for Keaton includes a biography, trivia, and his complete filmography ranging from director, to actor, to producer.
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