Keaton Met The Camera Today

Image result for bk100 buster keaton

INTERMISSION! I’m sure Mr. Méliès wouldn’t mind if we took a small break to celebrate a historic day for any fan of silent comedy…or comedy…or movies. This is apparently the day when Buster Keaton, former vaudevillian who was about to have a role in the Passing Show of 1917 in NYC, was invited to see Roscoe Arbuckle’s Comique studio. Yes, THIS is the day when Buster Keaton fell in love with the camera!! He would appear in his first film scene a day or two later. (And I’m suddenly wondering–did Méliès see some of Buster’s films? Was he a fan? Buster was very big in France, you know. Why have I never thought of this before…)

My friend Lisle Foote, a Keaton historian, has written a detailed post about this milestone below. Take a look (and leave some comments)!

Grace Kingsley's Hollywood

One hundred years ago today, Buster Keaton was introduced to the moving picture camera. Considering what Keaton did with it, the day really ought to be an international holiday.

childs1917 Childs Restraunt breakfast menu, 1917. Did he get rye, corn meal, buckwheat or wheat  griddle cakes? It’s been lost to history.

Monday, March 19, 1917 started out unremarkably for him. According to biographer Rudi Blesh, he got up early, restless and worried about his solo act. Twenty-one years old, he’d never worked onstage without his family, and he’d signed a contract to appear alone in The Passing Show, the Shubert’s Broadway variety show. It was the day before rehearsals were to begin. Unsettling news of the war in Europe filled the front page of the New York Times; three American boats had been sunk by German submarines, but Russia vowed to keep fighting alongside their allies, despite their revolution…

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