In 1949, the film critic James Agee published his influential essay “Comedy’s Greatest Era,” in which he recounts the golden years of silent comedy and proclaims that the genre’s “four most eminent masters” were Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Harry Langdon
Review of the Elgin Festival at the Elgin Theatre, where Keaton films are being shown. All ten of his full-length features and a lot of his rare two-reelers are included. Gilliatt tells about this Keaton’s work and about an interview she had with him in 1964, when he was 69, two years before his death.
The General, made in 1927, best combines the subtle character of Keaton with material that is perfect for his style.
Only a day before the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Samuel Beckett, I confided to my class in film history that Buster Keaton’s vision of the world was in some ways more profoundly absurdist than Samuel Beckett’s.