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Silent Slapstick Weekend
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Down East



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
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Location: Maine & CT, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 2:56 pm    Post subject: Silent Slapstick Weekend Reply with quote

FILM PAUL MERTON'S SILENT SLAPSTICK WEEKEND
Barbican Centre
Saturday 23 April [Sat 23/04 and Sun 23/04 at 3pm]

From:

http://www.kultureflash.net/engines/print.asp?edition=120&event=2638&subscriber=

"The comedian's comedian is not quite like the artist's artist. We're may be lost in art, but we certainly can always find ways to laugh at a joke, especially if it's a pratfall by Buster Keaton. Now Keaton is certainly more than just a comedian -- after all Sam Beckett selected him to be the on-screen personification of his everyman. Here Comedy Store regular and Have I got news for you's Paul Merton, with former Dr. Who Paul McGann in tow, is spending a weekend introducing his slapstick favorites. Perhaps the appeal is the comedian?s ability to be in the moment, the "here and now", be it on the run or in the fall. Appealing to intellectuals and comedians alike, his comedy of the body is tuned in The Cameraman to being a filmmaker trying to attract the attention of a pretty office worker. Here piano accompaniment is provided by Neil Brand. While in Buster Keaton Di Corsa, a compilation of sequences by Italian filmmaker Francesco Ballo, is accompanied acapella by Paul McGann and the re-united Darts.

Not sure if this was posted here already, but there it is all the same.
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emay
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Silent Slapstick Weekend Reply with quote

Down East wrote:
Not sure if this was posted here already, but there it is all the same.


Nope, this is new. Thank you for posting it, Maddy.

Here's a bit from www.amazingdarts.com about another appearance of the Matinee Idles:

"Den Hegarty, Griff Fender, Pikey Butler, Debbie Charles & Paul McGann (aka The Matinee Idols) will be providing acappella accompanyment at a silent movie event at The Rex cinema in Berkhamsted, Buckinghamshire on 28th May or 11th June 2006 (tbc)."

Estelle
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Down East



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it's nice to see he's out there singing and supporting silent movies. That's pretty cool.

He must be getting his voice in shape for a Block Buster musical, I think.
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emay
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Down East wrote:
He must be getting his voice in shape for a Block Buster musical, I think.


We can only hope. Smile
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Teri



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's times like these I almost wish I hadn't clicked on the thread--I'd like to see Paul introducing this so much, I can't tell you! Sad The Camerman is one of my favorite Buster Keaton films--an early flickering of the romantic screwball comedy at it's very best. Buster plays a darling, sweet, love-bitten underdog to perfection in it, and Marceline Day is exquisite as his not-so-unattainable love interest, also. I always tell anyone who's interested in checking out Buster to see this one and The General, as well--two of his best. Smile

Thanks so much for the heads up, Maddy! Very Happy I haven't been over to the Bristol Silents site in a while, so I had no idea. Sunday's the day before my birthday, though, so that'll be nice to think of since I am making a three day thing of it! Wink

The very few Cameraman pics I have, just for fun--small and hard to come by! If anyone ever sees more, let me know. Confused

Publicity still...


'Sally' the MGM secretary
(I'm thinking MGM owned this news agency
for real, for it's pre-feature film newsreels)
showing 'Luke' how to work the newsreel camera--
previously he only worked in tin-types--
he took this job to be near her. Smile



The opening scenes--'first stirrings' with Marceline Day.
(If you check out my avatar, it's from a different film,
but Buster does that exact thing with 'Sally' in Cameraman--
unbeknownst to her, he's intoxicated by her 'scent'--
I think the fact that Buster chose to highlight that scenario
more than once is what made me fall in love with him.
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Down East



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, Teri

I wish you could see him introduce the film too. Crying or Very sad I know how much you like Keaton's work, and The Cameraman being your favorite....maybe there will be a video of it at some point! We can only hope.

I love those scent sniffing scenes too, as was used in "It's a wonderful Life." I bet Frank Capra loved those scenes in The Cameraman. Very romantic, sweet and a bit sexy without being graphic.

Have a wonderful birthday weekend!
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Paulgirl



Joined: 30 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I *adore* Buster Keaton! My favorite Keaton film is 'The Navigator,' where he plays a spoiled rich guy cast adrift on an abandoned yacht with his equally spoiled female counterpart. The comedy comes from the two of them just trying to survive, since neither has ever had to lift a finger in their life.

I also love the short, 'One Week,' where he's a newlywed who is given a lot and a house by his uncle-except that the house is unassembled in numbered crates, which correspond to the directions for construction-and his rival has mixed up all the numbers to get even with him for stealing the girl. Hysterical.

He's always been my favorite actor-not just comedian. He's a wonderful, instinctive actor, who never overplays a scene (rare for a silent comedian.)

He has a lovely , quiet presence onscreen, his face so expressive in its stillness, everything in his eyes.

As a matter of fact, Paul has always reminded me of Buster. At times they seem cut from the same cloth.

Denise
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Teri



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denise wrote:
Oh, I *adore* Buster Keaton!

A compatriot in Buster squee!! *does a happy dance*

Denise wrote:
As a matter of fact, Paul has always reminded me of Buster. At times they seem cut from the same cloth.

I felt the same way after seeing The General--you can see it in their demeanor, their physicality, their high intelligence and independent thinking, even their common experience with the Hollywood system at their respective times. Like Paul, Buster was very athletic, too--he lurved his baseball.

Here, in fact, are some of my very favorite Buster pics...



*SIGH*


Dad Buster with his two boys--
do the similarities end? Shocked


How contemporary and hot does Buster look
in his Kangol beret? Shoo-ee.
(And where exactly have we seen that upper body before?...)



Dig. The. Legs.
Brings to mind some other nicely defined gams we know and
Rainbow redux Wink...
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Grace



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daddy Buster reading to his boys!!! CUTE!! I just love guys who are sweet with children. That's more attractive to me than hot hotness. Very Happy Adorable!

But GASP, I've never seen a Buster Keaton movie! Embarassed Must check Netflix.
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Paulgirl



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grace wrote:
Daddy Buster reading to his boys!!! CUTE!! I just love guys who are sweet with children. That's more attractive to me than hot hotness. Very Happy Adorable!


Sadly, his wife, who was a member of the famous Talmadge family of silent film stars, cut him from his sons' lives when they divorced. She had their names changed from Keaton to Talmadge, and forbade contact. Buster was an alcoholic, and was persuaded at the time that the boys didn't want him around either. Crying or Very sad

Happily, his older son sought him out when he was a teenager, and from that day on Buster became close to his children again. I saw an episode of "Here is Your Life" honoring Buster, and the biggest surprise for him was when his boys, now grown men, were introduced. He cried. So did I. Smile

Quote:
But GASP, I've never seen a Buster Keaton movie! Embarassed Must check Netflix.


Oh, you simply must! He was called The Great Stone Face, but it isn't true at all. His face was so expressive, so beautiful with those huge eyes of his.


The finished house in One Week:


And from The Navigator:


His acting, unlike other silent stars, seems very modern. He never mugs it up, never overplays a scene to get across what's happening in pantomime-he doesn't have to. It's all in that face.

*sigh* I spent a long period of my life some years ago absolutely crushing on a guy who's been dead over forty years. Wink

Denise
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Down East



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He has a most expressive face.
As a young man and an older man.
I liked his work as an older comedian too.

They did a retrospective on American Masters on PBS.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/keaton_b.html

In 1952, long after the silents were done and forgotten by many, Keaton appeared in Limelight by Charlie Chaplin. This helped him make a come back. He did more television spots. I recall seeing him on the "I Love Lucy" show.

"Chaplin's final American film tells the story of a fading music hall comedian's effort to help a despondent ballet dancer learn both to walk and feel confident about life again. They must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their livesThe highlight of the film is the classic duet with Chaplin's only real artistic film comedy rival, Buster Keaton.

Limelight was on TCM late last night, though I have a copy on video.
It's my favorite Chaplin film---though there's some self indulgent moments on Chaplin's part, it's a wonderful film. I'd have loved to see Chaplin and Keaton work together on more projects. You could feel some of the.....competition between them, two masters of the art.

LImelight is a delightful, sweet, film. The Keaton/Chaplin scenes are wonderful. A beautiful music score written by Chaplin....some great lines of dialogue...

For that matter, Keaton made a great "straight" dramatic actor too. He was just a genius on film any way you look at it. I'd hire him in a second, and write a character in the film just for him.

First voiceover intro to the film, Limelight...

"This is the story of a ballerina (little pause) and a CLOWN!" I love that!

If Paul was to do a musical drama feature film, an "Entertainer" or rather, "Limelight" similar story would be the perfect choice for him. My music hall/cabaret script is in this territory. Must finish!

It was such a cliche for a while in the late 1950's and 1960's....the washed up, faded vaudeville, or music hall singer/dancer that has no place to ply his art...in an age of movies and television. Now, I think enough time has gone by to revive such a story, but bring it up to speed. Miss Marple's episode slightly hinted of those characters who, to me, had lost their identity when they were no longer wanted or remembered. I was feeling sorry for Dickie and his colleagues, no longer in the Biz.
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Teri



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paulgirl wrote:

Sadly, his wife, who was a member of the famous Talmadge family of silent film stars, cut him from his sons' lives when they divorced.

Natalie, to be exact, sister of Constance and Norma. She supposedly became something of a cold fish not long after the wedding, and evidently locked Buster out of the bedroom most of the time, poor guy. Sad

Buster and Natalie in Our Hospitality--the film set on which I'm guessing they met...
(Photo courtesy of Cinepad.com)


Their wedding day...
(Is anyone else getting Kate Beckinsale off her there? Shocked)


With all the sisters (Natalie's to his left, I think--the rest I couldn't tell you)...
(Photo courtesy of Cinepad.com)


Here are Norma and Constance, the more famous of the sisters--
(I had to post this just because it's such a cool picture Smile)...



One for Denise--I came upon this rather sigh worthy pic from The Navigator
at a cool little Buster page at Cinepad.com--it's a really nice page about Buster's
filmaking methods and philosophies, with a small gallery link...


Denise wrote:
Buster was an alcoholic, and was persuaded at the time that the boys didn't want him around either. Crying or Very sad

Didn't he start drinking heavily, though, as a result of his lousy home life, and the way the studio treated him eventually? Or am I wrong? Shocked



Denise wrote:
Grace wrote:
But GASP, I've never seen a Buster Keaton movie! Embarassed Must check Netflix.


Oh, you simply must!


Most definitely. Very Happy
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Grace



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in Ivor Novello too. I've only seen one of his films, The Lodger, (the first, silent one, the good version) directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and I fell in love!!

Anyone else? I should look him up on Netflix too.

And of course, when I saw Gosford Park, I squeed when I discovered that Jeremy Northam's character was Ivor Novello, and all my friends at the cinema thought I was weird because they'd never heard of him.

I taped The Lodger off TV (along with a ton of other things) when TCM was having an Alfred Hitchcock film preservation marathon event, but I hardly ever watch the tape because I like to do things like quilting while I watch a movie - and with silent movies, your eyes need to be glued to the screen! Unless you have a friend who wants to read all the lines aloud (and do all the voices, and also invent lines and talk to the characters, which is what usually happens with me and my friends!) Oh dear, if I went to one of the Bristol Silents events, I'd get kicked out! Although if Paul was singing, I'd be staring silent and slackjawed at him the entire time. Or even if he wasn't singing. Cool
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Teri



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grace wrote:
I'm interested in Ivor Novello too. I've only seen one of his films, The Lodger, (the first, silent one, the good version) directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and I fell in love!!

Anyone else? I should look him up on Netflix too.

Oh I saw The Lodger, too! when TCM was airing the Hithcock silents, last year was it? (Or was that his only one? I never realized he'd even been around long enough to have made any silents.) Yes, Ivor Novello was very dark and handsome--almost 'pretty' in that, wasn't he? It was a very good film, a little creepy--but then it was Hitchcock. I remember reading a few reviews that alluded to Ivor coming off a bit 'swishy' in it, and therefore not believable as the love interest (I think he swung both ways in reality--but usually played his roles a bit more masculinely), but I'd have to see it again to give it a fair shake. I just remember he was sort of creepy, yet fascinating to watch.

Another silent actor I've been pleasantly surprised by recently is Rudolph Valentino--I'd always stereotyped him in his 'Shiek' role, but he was even rather good at light comedy (although he did little of it). I saw him in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse a few months ago, and he was very animated in parts, and quite a heroic, chivalrous figure in others--things I'd never thought of him as before. I really enjoyed him--too bad he didn't live long enough to do much more than what he did.

D'oh! OT! Surprised
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Grace



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not nearly as OT as the "McGann Dreams" thread has become! Laughing Because we're talking about silent movies! Paul would certainly approve.

You know, I just had a thought! I bet Hitchcock would have liked Paul! Paul is SO good at playing those very ambiguous parts, like Ivor Novello in The Lodger, where you're attracted to him and feel sorry for him but you also mistrust him, and you don't know if he's good or evil. Perhaps that's why I love Forgotten so much. And Paul in black and white would be beautiful.

I love Hitchcock films. My lifelong favorite movie until the recent advent of Withnail and I has always been Psycho. Again, with the ambiguous but loveable male lead. I quite fell in LOVE with Anthony Perkins.

(Heehee, I first saw Psycho at a party after senior prom, and my date would not shut up during the movie and he also made fun of Norman Bates. That was our first and last date. But my love affair with Psycho has endured!) Laughing

Oh, I read last night on IMDb or somewhere that Ivor Novello was indeed gay or bi. Someone was pointing out that there were lines in The Lodger like "It's a good thing he doesn't like girls" or something like that, and wondering if it was on purpose.

I don't like remakes, especially remakes of something that's already a masterpiece... BUT, if I were to go back in time and cast Paul in a Hitchcock movie, I think he'd be lovely in Vertigo. Of course, Jimmy Stewart does it perfectly. But Paul would be great too. He would be pitiable and sad, and also that bit of dangerous obsession... And Hitchcock films always have so much silence in them, probably a carryover from his silent film era, because he knows the power of faces without dialogue.

I REALLY want to see Paul in Kenneth Branagh's Listening, since it's all or mostly silent. He has such an eloquent face.
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