Chronarchy (chronarchy) wrote,

A very short review of a silent film (Keaton's "The General")

Last week, I sat down to watch a classic in American cinema: Buster Keaton's The General.

I've been working on a slient movie project for a while, and I really enjoy the simplicity of them. I've been watching my way through some classics, including Battleship Potemkin (which you simply must watch if you're into propaganda films, the Russian Revolution, film in general, or the USSR) and some Charlie Chaplin shorts. I have Metropolis, a few additional Fritz Lang films, and some silent science fiction on the list to watch (or re-watch) soon, as well.

The General is, of course, well known for one of the earliest truly big-budget special effects (the destruction of a rail bridge and fully-functional locomotive).

Like a lot of early silent movies about the Civil War, the good guy is from the South. Unlike other classic Civil War movies from this period, however, you don't find yourself astounded by the racism (I'm looking at you, The Birth of a Nation), nor is it nearly as long as many equally great titles.

Keaton is well known as one of the great silent film actors, and he really did put together a masterful film here (he co-directed as well). I find it interesting that this film did so poorly when originally released, but now it's considered one of the greatest movies ever. Of course, this isn't terribly uncommon for great films.

Anyway, now that the Dublin Irish Festival is over (and our rite went well there, despite a low turnout of about 211 people due to rain), it's time to turn back to other projects (like getting that silent film project off the ground), and to answer some unanswered e-mail. . .
Tags: movies, rituals, three cranes grove

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