Charlie Chaplin vs Buster Keaton

..and why not?

Chaplin vs Keaton

Charlie
6
27%
Buster
13
59%
Footy
3
14%
 
Total votes: 22

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James R
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Postby James R » 05 Sep 2006, 06:44

Davey The Fat Boy wrote:Like the Beatles vs. the Stones, there isn't a clear winner to be had here. And certainly Harold Lloyd deserves to be part of the conversation as well.


Listen to the fat boy at this point. I haven't seen as much of Lloyd's work as I want to see, but it's damnable that he's not as iconic as what Chaplin and Keaton are today.

I think Keaton very narrowly edges out Chaplin in this debate, as I've always had more of a fondness for his films; there's a lot less sentimentality to have to deal with in his work. Chaplin took me a long time to warm to; the key to getting Chaplin, for me, was 1) seeing his films as part of an audience and 2) seeing his films in really good prints rather than the shit ones that used to be all I could get.

I wouldn't be without either. Chaplin may not have made Sherlock Jr, but by the same token Keaton didn't make The Great Dictator.
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Postby The Write Profile » 05 Sep 2006, 06:49

James R wrote:
I think Keaton very narrowly edges out Chaplin in this debate, as I've always had more of a fondness for his films; there's a lot less sentimentality to have to deal with in his work. Chaplin took me a long time to warm to; the key to getting Chaplin, for me, was 1) seeing his films as part of an audience and 2) seeing his films in really good prints rather than the shit ones that used to be all I could get.
.


I suppose I've been quite lucky then in that I first saw both City Lights and The Great Dictator in a wonderful 1800-seater theatre in brand new prints, and, in the case of City Lights, a full-piece orchestra playing the score. It really was something of an experience, I suppose Chaplin does tug at the heart strings melodramatically, but I come to think that most of the time, it's obviously earned- that conclusion for City Lights wouldn't have mattered half as much were it not for what our hero had been put through over the course of the last 90 or so minutes, certainly, it wouldn't've had any of the sheer pathos.

Incidentally, the DVD reissues of Chaplin's work are all fabulous and worth purchasing for the prints, docos and comentaries alone and it's good to see Umbrella/Madman finally get their act together with Keaton's films over the last year or so.
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Postby Snowdog » 05 Sep 2006, 10:03

The RightGraduate Profile wrote:
James R wrote:
I think Keaton very narrowly edges out Chaplin in this debate, as I've always had more of a fondness for his films; there's a lot less sentimentality to have to deal with in his work. Chaplin took me a long time to warm to; the key to getting Chaplin, for me, was 1) seeing his films as part of an audience and 2) seeing his films in really good prints rather than the shit ones that used to be all I could get.
.


I suppose I've been quite lucky then in that I first saw both City Lights and The Great Dictator in a wonderful 1800-seater theatre in brand new prints, and, in the case of City Lights, a full-piece orchestra playing the score. It really was something of an experience, I suppose Chaplin does tug at the heart strings melodramatically, but I come to think that most of the time, it's obviously earned- that conclusion for City Lights wouldn't have mattered half as much were it not for what our hero had been put through over the course of the last 90 or so minutes, certainly, it wouldn't've had any of the sheer pathos.

Incidentally, the DVD reissues of Chaplin's work are all fabulous and worth purchasing for the prints, docos and comentaries alone and it's good to see Umbrella/Madman finally get their act together with Keaton's films over the last year or so.


I don't believe one should have to make excuses for great art, it should engage any generation without qualification, but this does seem to be a sticking point for a lot of people with Chaplin.

It has to be said that the kind of sentimentality in Chaplin's films is quite old fashioned & too... Perhaps "naive" for a modern audience & it seems to put a lot of people off.

I wanted to say that for me it's never been just about comedy with Chaplin. For me it more often than not the pathos & sadness that run through his work that I find most engaging. It is out of fashion now but that's never bothered me either, particularly.

And, as I said, the way he moves just brings a tear to my eye it's so perfect.
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Postby The Write Profile » 05 Sep 2006, 10:08

Snowdog 2006 wrote:
The RightGraduate Profile wrote:
James R wrote:
I think Keaton very narrowly edges out Chaplin in this debate, as I've always had more of a fondness for his films; there's a lot less sentimentality to have to deal with in his work. Chaplin took me a long time to warm to; the key to getting Chaplin, for me, was 1) seeing his films as part of an audience and 2) seeing his films in really good prints rather than the shit ones that used to be all I could get.
.


I suppose I've been quite lucky then in that I first saw both City Lights and The Great Dictator in a wonderful 1800-seater theatre in brand new prints, and, in the case of City Lights, a full-piece orchestra playing the score. It really was something of an experience, I suppose Chaplin does tug at the heart strings melodramatically, but I come to think that most of the time, it's obviously earned- that conclusion for City Lights wouldn't have mattered half as much were it not for what our hero had been put through over the course of the last 90 or so minutes, certainly, it wouldn't've had any of the sheer pathos.

Incidentally, the DVD reissues of Chaplin's work are all fabulous and worth purchasing for the prints, docos and comentaries alone and it's good to see Umbrella/Madman finally get their act together with Keaton's films over the last year or so.


I don't believe one should have to make excuses for great art, it should engage any generation without qualification, but this does seem to be a sticking point for a lot of people with Chaplin.

It has to be said that the kind of sentimentality in Chaplin's films is quite old fashioned & too... Perhaps "naive" for a modern audience & it seems to put a lot of people off.

I wanted to say that for me it's never been just about comedy with Chaplin. For me it more often than not the pathos & sadness that run through his work that I find most engaging. It is out of fashion now but that's never bothered me either, particularly.

And, as I said, the way he moves just brings a tear to my eye it's so perfect.


Indeed, as I tried to articulate, whatever depths he might have to reach or whatever stunts he pulls (so to speak), they're all in the grander service of the film, and I can't deny the overall emotional impact. Chaplin works best on a really big screen, because that's how he was intended to be seen in the first place. It's all about the scale of his ambition and the sheer heart required to go there. That said, there are a lot of dark undercurrents in his films, not just The Great Dictator, but also Modern Times and even the protagonist's desparation in City Lights (or the Gold Rush, for that matter). I love it.
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Postby James R » 05 Sep 2006, 15:04

The RightGraduate Profile wrote:
James R wrote:
I think Keaton very narrowly edges out Chaplin in this debate, as I've always had more of a fondness for his films; there's a lot less sentimentality to have to deal with in his work. Chaplin took me a long time to warm to; the key to getting Chaplin, for me, was 1) seeing his films as part of an audience and 2) seeing his films in really good prints rather than the shit ones that used to be all I could get.
.


I suppose I've been quite lucky then in that I first saw both City Lights and The Great Dictator in a wonderful 1800-seater theatre in brand new prints, and, in the case of City Lights, a full-piece orchestra playing the score.


I hate you.

Incidentally, the DVD reissues of Chaplin's work are all fabulous and worth purchasing for the prints, docos and comentaries alone and it's good to see Umbrella/Madman finally get their act together with Keaton's films over the last year or so.
Yes! I just hope the Keaton titles currently in the Director's Suite catalogue aren't going to be the only ones they put out.
pcqgod wrote:I like how Liebling progresses from a rotting, animated corpse living in his parents' basement to a slightly more life-affirming walking corpse by the end of the movie.

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Postby mentalist (slight return) » 12 Feb 2007, 06:01

Just saw the Directors Suite edition of The General last night. So ... Buster Keaton! Love Cops as well.
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Postby Matt Wilson » 13 Feb 2007, 18:06

I've only seen one Keaton film (though it was awesome) so I'd have to go with Chaplin. Everything he did from the '20s-early '50s was either good or great.

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Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 15 Feb 2007, 16:17

mentalist (slight return) wrote:Just saw the Directors Suite edition of The General last night. So ... Buster Keaton! Love Cops as well.


Well I just watched City Lights last night - so...Charlie!
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Postby Sneelock » 15 Feb 2007, 18:49

I think "City Lights" is just gigantic. the "big scene" from that movie is, I think, one of the movies most indelible impressions. it's right up there with the word "rosebud" whispered through a moustache and a baby cart flying down the Odessa steps.

now, Keaton might have a few of those himself so this seems a good jumping off place. I pick Footy because I simply can't decide which of these two geniuses I prefer.

to choose one over the other would be, to my way of thinking, choosing between inspiration and craftsmanship and I value both.
I think Keaton had the greater comic gift. I don't mean this as a slight to Chaplin. now, flip that over. I think Chaplin made stronger films and that's not a slight of Keaton.

Keaton had a gift. now, I'm not saying he didn't work at it - he was a craftsman too. I just think this guy's brain was wired up in a special way. you ever see him on 'Candid Camera' in the 60's? it's amazing. the guy just sits and does increasingly foolish and pathetic things until people, quickly drawn to looking at him, are just gaping in disbelief. now, for all I know, Keaton had some sturdy bits of business that he relied on. my point is - this is how he made his living. he could wing it. someone could ask "how can we make this funny?" and Keaton could say "we could do this or that or that or this"

Chaplin was more concerned with how it all went together and, as fate would have it, was allowed a stronger hand on his films for a longer period of time. So, I choose Chaplin? no. I think Chaplin was the better filmaker and Keaton the better comedian. it's Footy Time.

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Postby Snarfyguy » 15 Feb 2007, 21:09

Muskrat wrote:Never got Chaplin.

What's to get?

I thought he was hilarious when I was just a little kid.
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