Friday, March 17, 2023

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

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

While in Germany, Keaton was so focused on business he was caught unprepared when asked to make a public appearance. “They wanted me on a television show there,” he related, “and I sez, ‘Well, the first thing I gotta do is have a hat. Where’s a hat store?’ They point to one across the street. I went over there. Nobody in the place speaks English. I don’t speak German. So I went down and found the type of fedora I wanted, start tryin’ them on until finally they came to my aid and they found one that fit me. When I found one that fit me, [I] took the price tag off, then took the money out of my pocket and held it out and let them take the money. Well, it was kind of an expensive hat—it amounted to about ten dollars. So now I ask ’em for a pair of scissors, [miming the scissors with his fingers]. They don’t know what the hell I want scissors for, but they go get me a pair of scissors. I immediately started to cut down the brim. Then I reached in and pulled out all the insides of the hat—threw it away, tore it out. Then started to break it down. Well, these people look at me as if I’m absolutely going out of my mind. I pay ten dollars for a hat, an expensive hat, then cut it to pieces, tear out the insides. But when I finally get it down like that, where I wanted it, and put it on, looked in the mirror, all three in the store threw their hands up and said: ‘BOOSTER!’ ”

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