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Every Frame of Buster Keaton’s Comedy is a Painting

Any piece by YouTube’s Every Frame A Painting is a crash course in film that will have you re-examining every movie you’ve ever seen for deeper meaning. Created by Tony Zhou, the channel focuses on the impact of film, its effect on the viewer, and what it does to the world of filmmaking in general. Recently we featured a video of his on the extensive work of Chuck Jones that will make any Looney Tunes fan appreciate him so much more.

In his latest video, Zhou examines a comedy great and undeniably one of history’s touchstones in physical comedy and film innovation – Buster Keaton. Actor, writer, director, stuntman, it’s amazing how many hats the man wore despite being known specifically for a certain pork pie one. The video explores the universe the filmmaker created for himself, the rules he was beholden to in it and the effectiveness of great shots. Keaton’s use of action in telling a story was – lets say – considerably important in the silent film era and where other directors would use title cards to display dialogue and exposition, Keaton would express it in the actions of the actors.

Zhou also points out that Keaton’s work has continually influenced many aspects of modern filmmaking to this day, whether it be the insane stunts of Jackie Chan, the framing of shots in Wes Anderson movies, or even the resemblance in stoicism of some of Bill Murray‘s characters.

It’d be a crime to try and explain the genius of Buster Keaton in written word when Zhou’s video – and all of Keaton’s films for that matter – do such a better job at conveying their beauty.

What do you think of the latest Every Frame A Painting? What’s your favorite Buster Keaton film? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: PBS

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