The Great Buster: A Celebration

Not rated yet!
Director
Peter Bogdanovich
Runtime
1 h 42 min
Release Date
5 October 2018
Genres
Documentary
Overview
A celebration of the life and career of one of America's most influential and celebrated filmmakers and comedians, Buster Keaton, whose singular style and fertile output during the silent era created his legacy as a true cinematic visionary.
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VJ Morton2
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • The Great Buster: A Celebration, 2018 - ★★★★

    THE GREAT BUSTER (Bogdanovich, USA, 2018, 8)

    It is what it is, but this is as good as “it” gets — “it” being the biographical career documentary about The Great Dead Artist. But this is F. Buster Keaton we’re talking about here. THE GREAT BUSTER shares many of the PBS special / DVD supplement staples that populate the genre — life story in chronological order, mostly (I’ll get back to the “mostly” later), the clips of scenes, fulsome testimony from contemporaries who are obvious acolytes (Carl Reiner here) and not so obvious ones (Johnny Knoxville). Some of the criticism is even good — Quentin Tarantino makes the brilliant point that Buster is also a great action director; one of the seminal experiences of my filmgoing life was seeing THE GENERAL accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra, whose driving, fast and loud style made it play, in an aural Kuleshov Experiment, like an action film with comic relief rather than a comedy with a chase. But THE GREAT BUSTER is special for several reasons beyond Keaton’s indisputable greatness and the resulting inherent interest to cinephiles. For one, a silent comedian’s highlight reel inherently works better in stand-alone than the great scenes of a maker of thrillers like Hitchcock or meditative art films like Antonioni (both genres are heavily context dependent). I have it on good authority that THE GREAT BUSTER sells him to a neophyte. But for someone like myself, who’s seen all of his features and almost all his shorts, there’s genuine revelations here. Ever since I attended a Slapsticon where his Educational talkie-short GRAND SLAM OPERA won a spontaneous mid-film round of applause, I’ve known that, although he obviously never again reached his silent-1920s peaks, the rest of his career wasn’t for shit. That Buster still had “it,” however rarely “it” showed. And THE GREAT BUSTER features some of “it” which I had never seen and, despite Bogdanovich the Narrator’s downplaying them, which is worthy of his name — some of the TV commercials he made (Northwest Orient practically quotes THE PLAYHOUSE), his scenes for CANDID CAMERA (his deadpan sang-froid perfect in setting the unwitting real people), and such projects as THE RAILRODDER (which I would now buy sight-unseen). So THE GREAT BUSTER has something for everyone. And it makes a structural gambit (which Bogdanovich lampshades a little) in leaving Keaton’s silent-features for last. But by the time we get to that point, Bogdanovich has found a good excuse for doing so while stating within the the chronological framework he’s chosen. Thanks Venice Film Festival. And good job, Pete, for finding an excuse for an effect within a contrivance. Almost Keatonesque.

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2018 films
    (”The Great Buster: A Celebration” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    All the 2018 US-release films I've seen, from best to worst. Only films that have currently been released are here; films I've seen at fests will be added when released.

    1. Let the Corpses Tan
    2. Leave No Trace
    3. Ben Is Back
    4. Madeline's Madeline
    5. Roma
    6. Infinite Football
    7. This Is Our Land
    8. The House That Jack Built
    9. Arizona
    10. Lean on Pete

    ...plus 90 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

    ...
    (Review Source)

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