Today is the day, folks. Chills!!
Back on Sunday we gave a nod to the day that’s thought to be when Buster Keaton visited Roscoe Arbuckle’s Comique studios for the very first time (or, at the very least, met friend Lou Anger and Roscoe himself on the streets of NYC). While there’s been a bit of confusion about these dates in the past, thanks to Buster’s surviving datebook we can confirm that he absolutely, 100% went to Comique on March 21st, 1917 to film The Butcher Boy! Today, he was captured by the motion picture camera in this very scene below…for all time! (And let’s give a shout out to the patient Mr. Méliès, who doesn’t mind that we keep interrupting his theme month. *wink*)
Here is a picture of the pages from the surviving datebook itself, which I believe was made available by the International Buster Keaton Society. Isn’t it astonishing, simply astonishing, that we get to see this?!
Notice how he wrote “first picture.” Even then, he knew. CHILLS!!!
You can read my frame-by-frame breakdown of the first scene Buster ever filmed, the famous “molasses scene,” here. In the meantime, take some time to celebrate today–I know I am!
Oh, happy day!
It seems the present location of the Norma Talmadge Studios where Buster first entered the Cinema Zone is a modern building housing the Singapore embassy. I was looking at it on Google Earth and imagined what Roscoe and Buster’s reaction would be if they could see the place now.
It’s apparently a really new building, too. A friend of mine was there yesterday and left a small card with a couple Buster pictures on it and a rose–such a sweet idea!