Monday, March 13, 2023

the last book I ever read (Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life, excerpt nine)

from Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life by James Curtis:

There are no accounts of Buster’s final day on the Keaton studio grounds, the place where he made eighteen two-reelers and ten features over a period of seven years. If he walked around the compact lot, he would have seen standing sets dating back five years or more, buildings and storefronts and the variegated fence surrounding it all. The great stage where Joe Roberts so affectingly played his final scenes. The laboratory where all the exposed negative was processed, the chemical smells still lingering in the air. The old studio barn, the administration building where Lou Anger had his office and where payroll was made and extras and day workers were processed. Gabe Gabourie’s workshop, where seemingly anything could be fabricated on a moment’s notice. He may even have paused at the plot of land where Captain was buried. And if he walked past the studio’s row of dressing rooms he would have remembered that none of the doors were numbered but rather that each was named for one of the extraordinary comedies he made as an independent. Reading down the line were The Blacksmith, Convict 13, The Scarecrow, The Haunted House, The High Sign, Hard Luck, The Play House, The Goat, The Paleface, and The Boat.

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