Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Balloonatic

1923 - Dir: Buster Keaton

Shown at The FeckenOdeon on February 22nd, 2003

Intrepid Buster Keaton faces danger on land, on water & in the air - generally because of his disastrous attempts to impress lovely young women. When at six months he tumbled down a flight of stairs unharmed the young Keaton was given the name "Buster" by 'Harry Houdini' who. along with W.C.Fields, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson shared vaudeville bills with The Three Keatons: Buster, his father Joe and mother Myra. Their act, one of the most dangerous in vaudeville, was about how to discipline a prankster child. Buster was thrown all over the stage and even into the audience. No matter what the stunt, he was poker-faced. By age 21 his father was so alcoholic the stunts became too dangerous to perform and the act dissolved. An association with Fatty Arbuckle led to a series of highly imaginative short subjects and classic, silent feature-length films - all from 1920 to 1928. Writer, director, star & stuntman - Buster could do it all. More akin to Fairbanks than Chaplin, Buster's films were full of splendid adventure, exciting derring-do and the most dangerous physical stunts imaginable.

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