The life and career of Buster Keaton is the stuff of legend. Known as the “Great Stone Face,” Keaton made a massive impact upon comedy and early film. From a start in vaudeville to a promising career in motion pictures, Keaton’s life had its many ups and downs. Nonetheless, his filmography has left a legacy of joy.
Over the years, Keaton would realize opportunities to work as a director, actor, editor, and stuntman–taking on some of the most dangerous stunts in early cinema.
Camera Man by Dana Stevens explores Keaton’s life in conjunction with early cinema and its influence upon the Twentieth Century. While much has been written about Keaton’s storied career, Stevens’s work shines by examining Keaton’s life alongside important developments in journalism, entertainment, law, technology, the socio-political status of women, as well as addiction. In doing so, Stevens successfully proves just how monumental Keaton’s impact was, even bringing his present-day influence to the attention of the reader.
To this day, Keaton’s stunts remain noteworthy and fascinating to behold–even circulating on social media as GIFs. Far beyond offering a sole biographical depiction of Keating, Stevens succeeds in portraying the brilliance of Keaton, both in front of the camera and behind it.