Slandering Others Anonymously

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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Sherlock Jr.

This week I’m looking at a film from 1924 called Sherlock Jr. It stars (and was directed by) Buster Keaton. If you’re thinking that movies this old maybe won’t be for you, Buster Keaton is a great place to start. This particular movie is only about 45 minutes long, so it’s a lot easier to swallow than, say, one of D.W. Griffith’s 3-hour, sweeping epics. And, like the works of Charlie Chaplin, the movie is funny. It’s perhaps not quite as funny as some Chaplin films I’ve seen, but it definitely gets the job done.

When looking at early silent movies, comparisons between Chaplin and Keaton are pretty much unavoidable. Chaplin seems to have stayed more in the public’s memory over the years. Most people, even if they haven’t seen a Chaplin film, can tell you who he was. I don’t know for certain why that is, but part of it probably has to do with Chaplin’s recurring “tramp” character.

I like both actors. As I said, I think Chaplin’s movies are a little funnier. The thing with Keaton is that his movies add a totally different element: stunts. He’s not shy about putting himself at great personal risk for the sake of a movie. He actually ended up with a fractured neck after one of the stunts in Sherlock Jr. (the take in which he sustains this injury appears in the finished film).

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Plans for the future…

So, my academic obligation to this space has concluded for now. Or perhaps permanently? I don’t know…

Here’s what’s up. I’m having fun. I like movies and I like to write, so combining these two things seems only natural. So I plan to keep writing here. If all it comes to in the end is me getting my thoughts in order, so be it. If people read this and enjoy it and learn about some great movies that they wouldn’t have seen otherwise, so much the better.

So aside from my one slip up, I’ve always done movies from different decades thus far. At a certain point, I’m obviously going to run out of different decades. I basically have four decades left to glimpse at (1940-1949, 1930-1939, 1920-1929, and 1910-1919). Now, movies were around for about a couple of decades before 1910, but once you get back that far, the pickings get rather slim. I just don’t know how easily I’d be able to get my hands on stuff that’s 100 or more years old.

My first order of business is going to be to cover those four decades I haven’t yet. After that, the world is basically my oyster. I’ll continue to try picking a variety of movies. I’ll continue to attempt to pick things that I think many people might not ordinarily watch. Part of my goal is getting people (myself included, and perhaps most importantly of all since I could easily be talking to myself at this point) to expand their horizons. I expect I’ll be sticking to movies that I enjoyed for the most part. Since I won’t be doing this for marks from now on, I can’t see the appeal of taking my spare to to write about something I didn’t like.

Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be talking about new releases the way I had hoped to when I started this. I haven’t been to the movies in ages. If it’s not out on DVD, odds are I won’t write about it.

In terms of frequency of posts, I make absolutely no promises. If I watch something I’m really jazzed about then I’ll probably write about it. If not, there might not be much going on here for extended periods of time. As it stands there’s a movie I’d really like to write about right now, but unfortunately for me it was not filmed between the years 1910 and 1949. So I’ll set that aside for the time being.

There should be a new post here in the next week or so.