Monday, March 05, 2007


This weekend I watched Buster Keaton's The Cameraman and was totally floored by the beauty of his leading lady. I like silent films, I've seen several of them... I wouldn't say a lot but probably more than the average 30 year old... and I never really saw any of the women in those films as beautiful... until Marceline Day:

Both Marceline Day and Buster Keaton said so much with their eyes, with their faces... They said more in their eyes than some actors today say in all the lines in their careers. After finishing the film I looked her up online and found out she retired from the film business in 1934... she was only 26! She'd grown frustrated with a film industry that had relegated her to supporting roles in "B" movies when she'd been a female lead in the "A" movies of the silent film era. She married twice but never had any children. She died in 2000 at the age of 91.


Nan said...
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BarBarA said...

I can see how you would be captivated by her!

Susan as herself said...

She is indeed lovely. I don't think I have ever seen that particular Keaton film. And I agree he is quite something---a very unique artist who was ahead of his time and contributed so much to the industry. Good for you for appreciating that sort of thing.

The Phoenix said...

I have never watched a silent film. Am I missing out?

Perplexio said...

Barbara: It's those eyes! Didn't The Guess Who have a song about that-- wait no, that was These Eyes, great song that-- Burton Cummings at his best!

Susan: Thank you. I've always had some level of fascination with the roaring twenties. There was/is something so glamorous about it. When I watch the silent films I try to watch them with the mindset that it IS the 1920s and that talkies haven't been invented yet.

Phoenix: Yes and no. Silent films aren't for everyone. There are a few classics I'd recommend for nothing more than to increase/improve cultural awareness. If you want to "try one out"-- I'd recommend Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush... Of the small handful of silent films I've seen that one has stood the test of time the best. The humor was/is still funny to me. If you want to see a Buster Keaton film I'd recommend either The Camerman or The General (incidentally, The General is the most expensive film of the silent era). MGM Studios used The Cameraman for their comedians as a training tool-- it was their way of telling guys like Abbot and Costello-- "THIS is how MGM does comedy." So it was a little bit more influential in that regard.