The Great Big Beautiful Project Keaton Blogroll

Wow! What a month it’s been. I hardly know where to start .

Project Keaton has been a daily thrill over on the Project Keaton Tumblr page as well as here on The Pictorial, and with the project officially ending yesterday, I am delighted to post the our Great Big Beautiful Project Keaton Blogroll. The following is a list of every single contributor with links to their respective sites. If you haven’t been following Project Keaton on Tumblr, this is your chance to catch up on a month long of Buster Love. (Click here for a PDF of our blogroll_list.)

Silent film fans from all over the globe came out in droves to show their support for the project: England, Scotland, The Netherlands, Australia, Spain, South America and North America. The creative output has been fantastic. Thanks to every last blessed one of you for giving Buster something to smile about in October.

Buster Keaton Month
Jonathan Melville

Buster Keaton and Film Noir
Buster, Trains and One Week
John Bengtson

Keaton in Color

The Buster Keaton Cocktail

Buster Keaton and Roscoe Arbuckle
Buster is the 99%

Happy Birthday Buster

Buster Sketch
Keaton & Cat

116 Years of Buster Keaton

The General: The Greatest Film Ever…?
Terence Towles Canote

Buster, Twitter and the 21st Century
Chris Edwards

Buster in Color

How About A Little Dinner and a Show?”

Busker’s Bounty
Phillip Van Scotter & Abbey Pleviak

The Artist and Buster Keaton
Will McKinley

“Sherlock Jr. Soundtrack”
Fern Lindzon

“Colourizations of Buster”

Parkour and Pathos

Tattoo Art

Buster Would’ve Made a Great B-Boy
Irene Vandemark

Viola Dana & Buster Keaton’s The General
Kathy Cocerig

It‘s Buster Keaton’s Birthday
Keaton, Arbuckle & Chaplin

A Little Bit O’ Buster in the Good Old Summertime

The Accidental Surrealist

A Hard Act to Follow

Life Lessons from Buster
Trevor Jost

The High Sign

Buster in Dutch
Janneke Maan

Buster Keaton Art
Kate Gabrielle

Porkpie Cupcakes
Girl Gatsby

And congratulations as well to the lucky Project Keaton participants, soon to be chosen at random, who will be owners of the marvelous new line of Buster Pork Pie t shirts from vintage artist Girl Gatsby!

Farewell from Project Keaton– and remember to keep Buster smiling! No matter the month of the year!

And so we’re officially signing off from Project Keaton with this special tribute video prepared by the Pictorial:

Project Keaton: The Artist and Buster Keaton

Submitted to Project Keaton by NYC-based writer Will McKinley ,The Artist at the New York Film Festival: Evoking Memories of Buster Keaton  is a terrific look at the upcoming silent French film THE ARTIST and its surprising connection to the life and art of Buster Keaton.  ”Sunday afternoon, on the final day of the New York Film Festival, I saw Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist. Sunday night on Turner Classic Movies, I watched Buster Keaton in Free and Easy. Although these two very different films were made more than 80 years apart, they actually have a lot in common…” Read Will’s full post here.

Project Keaton: Buskerfly Productions Tip Their Hat to Buster

Buskerfly Productions is truly delightful. This Boulder-based production company embraces the elements of classic film-making while utilizing the latest in modern technology, producing work that is of pristine, high-def quality while maintaining its integrity to the original medium that is their inspiration: silent comedy.

Buskerfly reached out to Project Keaton and was so kind as to edit a special clip from their silent feature, BUSKERS BOUNTY. Watch as they so effectively channel Keaton’s timelessly hilarious “hat scene” from his 1928 masterpiece STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. Many thanks to producers Philip Van Scotter and Abbey Pleviak for reaching out— and for their fabulous work!

Visit Buskerfly Productions to see more of BUSKERS BOUNTY, and to learn about their exciting upcoming projects!

and the original source of inspiration:

Project Keaton Guest Post: Silent Volume

Silent film blogger Chris Edwards runs Silent Volume, a site dedicated to the art of silent filmmaking. Its tagline, “this medium is not dead,” is backed by a wealth of reviews, editorials and general musings on silent films great and small.  In conjunction with Project Keaton, Edwards has written a fabulous piece exploring the deeply human everyman appeal of Keaton’s work and its particular relevance in the 21st century. Follow him @SilentVolume


Framed: Keaton in THE GOAT (1921)

My Twitter avatar is Buster Keaton. It’s a screenshot of him, behind bars, from THE GOAT, one of his short films.

People love it. They’ve called it ‘perfect.’ It’s cool to them the way Buster’s bars exactly touch the edges of the frame, as though he’s imprisoned in Twitter’s own digital superstructure. One small, innocent man, peeking out of one window, in a building that has millions of them.

I didn’t think about this when I chose it. I just thought the picture looked funny. But reflecting back on it now, after a couple of years, maybe this little picture sums up why Buster matters so much to me. Not just as a fan of silent films, or as someone who writes about them regularly—but as a modern person, navigating life. Buster is me, or us, in a way the other clowns weren’t.

Almost all of us want to understand how the world works, if only so that we can fit into it better. We want to be happy, comfortable, respected, loved. We want fulfillment, freedom, sex—all the usuals. And the better we ‘get’ our world, particularly the circles in which we want to travel, the easier all this becomes to achieve. I’m not excepting the counter-culture types here either; at heart we all want to succeed on our own terms, and the most alternative person you know still, probably, wants to be part of his or her world. The only people who don’t are hermits—or possibly tramps—and you don’t know many of them.

However, most of us are not fulfilled or successful. And if we are, we’re encouraged not to rest on our laurels—to keep striving. This can be a tense thing, because the world remains big and complicated and we can’t always be sure what we’re striving for, or how reasonable our chances really are. On our bad days, we wonder if we’re good enough; on our worst days, we get metaphysical: wondering if the world is designed to thwart us.

It is a gigantic, amoral, mysterious, multi-geared machine of a world like this that all of Buster Keaton’s characters occupy, and yet, every version of him does his best to work within it. Think of the newlywed in ONE WEEK: a man who dreams of building a house; who owns the parts; who has the instructions for assembly and the mindset to follow them strictly. And he does. And he’s destroyed, because unknown to him, the man his wife turned down has changed the numbers on the crates. The house has all the right pieces, but none in the right order.

And yet he tries and tries to make it right. Just as he tries to please the people he cares about, from the sweet wife in that film to the cruel girlfriends in SPITE MARRIAGE and THE GENERAL. Can you imagine one of Fatty Arbuckle’s louts negotiating the terrain of social graces that Buster must in OUR HOSPITALITY? What about the Tramp? I think the Tramp would sooner get drunk.

The exceptions prove the rule. Buster’s sociopathic gunman in THE FROZEN NORTH is a dream; just like his alpha-male master sleuth in SHERLOCK, JR. In THE NAVIGATOR, Buster’s hero is born into wealth, but it does him no good. All Buster’s little fellows are part of the system, trying to work their way through it. They’re never trying to escape it. That would mean giving up.

Back to the Twitter thing. I was saying (actually, tweeting) to someone just today about how most people on Twitter are trying to promote themselves, one way or another. They have a sense of their own smallness, because they think so much about the world, in its vastness. They also think about how to get bigger, and see Twitter as a tool that can help. They’re convinced it can be done.

That’s a modern philosophy, and it’s a Buster philosophy all the way.

How would the other clowns approach Twitter? Lloyd would tweet regular updates about the weather and his kids’ favorite songs. Langdon wouldn’t get it—he’d try updating from his rotary phone. Arbuckle would spam you. And Chaplin, I think, wouldn’t have an account, though you’d still hear from him somehow. But Buster would be there.

It’s Buster, in spirit and in shared plight, who speaks to us best.

Now, none of this makes him better than the others. For what it’s worth, I give Buster the nod for best silent comedy feature (THE GENERAL), but not for best short (Arbuckle’s CONEY ISLAND and HE DID AND HE DIDN’T transcend even COPS and THE PLAYHOUSE). Nor was Buster the actor, innovator, businessman, or comedy polymath that Chaplin was. But Buster had genius, and his particular brand of it has aged the best.

You know… I don’t call Chaplin, Arbuckle or Lloyd by their first names. Funny thing, that.

Project Keaton: John Bengtson’s Buster Keaton and Film Noir

Silent film historian John Bentson is pretty much THE authority on filming locations of the silent masters. His holy trinity of silent comedy filming locations Silent Traces, Silent Echoes and Silent Visions are dazzling, in-depth histories of the films of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd, respectively. His blog, Silent Locations, digs even deeper into the past, unearthing (with incredible precision) the exact locations of even the most obscure silent films.

His latest post Buster Keaton and Film Noir is proof of his sleuthing skills and we are proud to have him on board for Project Keaton!

Project Keaton: John Bengtson's Buster Keaton and Film Noir

Silent film historian John Bentson is pretty much THE authority on filming locations of the silent masters. His holy trinity of silent comedy filming locations Silent Traces, Silent Echoes and Silent Visions are dazzling, in-depth histories of the films of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd, respectively. His blog, Silent Locations, digs even deeper into the past, unearthing (with incredible precision) the exact locations of even the most obscure silent films.

His latest post Buster Keaton and Film Noir is proof of his sleuthing skills and we are proud to have him on board for Project Keaton!

We've Been Liebstered! (I didn't know what it meant either…)

The Liebster AwardThe Kitty Packard Pictorial has been Liebstered! C’est a dire, we’ve been presented with the “Liebster Blog” award from one of our favorite fellow film fanatics, The Lady Eve Sidwich, the cinemaven behind The Lady Eve’s Reel Life. Take a sampling of her recent posts and you’ll see exactly why this blog stands so well out of the crowd. From a profile of legendary art director Lyle Wheeler, to a portrait of early Hollywood playground Catalina Island to serious critical analysis of rarely seen screen gems, Eve’s Reel Life is  at once intelligent and academic, yet wonderfully entertaining.

Thank you so much Eve for singling us out– MWAH!


There are always rules, but the rules are actually the real fun of these web awards since they allow you the opportunity to recognize fellow bloggers who, let’s be honest, the spotlight should always be on. In this case, I am to choose five.

To the five blogs mentioned below, the rules dictate you link back to the Pictorial, and pick five other blogs on who to give the award…

1. SHADOWPLAY. David Cairns is a genius. And I mean that quite literally, without the least bit of hyperbole. This guy really is the genuine article. By following his blog, you’re liable to bounce from a D.W. Griffith melodrama to 70s Blaxploitation to  modern effects epics and back again, unified by a singular, uncompromising wit that makes this blog, well … genius. (I defy you NOT love a post about KING KONG entitled “The Skull Island Follies of 1933”)

2. SILENT VOLUME. Chris Edwards’ Toronto-based Silent Volume is so much more than just another blog.   Edwards cuts through the crap, calls a spade a spade, and his encyclopedic knowledge of  silent film, as well as his keen sense of politics, make his posts opinionated but fair.  He writes with energy and relevance– bearing truth to his blog’s motto: this medium is not dead. With  Edwards around, silent film is not only  alive– it is full of life.

3. VIV AND LARRY. London-based blogger Kendra has created one of the most decadent, swoon-worthy blogs on the internet, bar none. An ever-evolving love sonnet to the classical patron saints of 20th Century theatre, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, Viv and Larry is more than just eye-popping gorgeousness. Respectful, insightful and at times even provocative, Viv and Larry is the Savoy Hotel of fan tributes.

4. HOLLYWOOD REVUE. Angela’s Hollywood Revue slogan is “Where We’re Always Ready for Our Close Up” and that’s just what she specializes in: insightful profiles of favorite Hollywood faces and films big and small. The reason to get up close and personal with Angela at her blog this month is her day-by-day coverage of Turner Classic Movie’s Summer Under the Stars festival. We are now midway through August and she is still going strong, producing solid feature film reviews on a daily basis.

5. DEAR OLD HOLLYWOOD. Robbie’s blog is a real treasure. In many ways, Robbie is a cinema archaeologist. Since 2009, he has been exhaustively documenting Southern California filming locations of many of movies great and small—classic and even, well … not so classic. But more than that, the ever-inquisitive Robbie takes us to former stars homes, watering holes and haunts. In my opinion, he does more to make old Hollywood a tangible reality than any other blog around.