Venice Film Review: ‘The Great Buster: A Celebration’

  • Variety
Timed to coincide with Cohen Media’s restorations of Buster Keaton’s silent features, “The Great Buster: A Celebration” is a by-the-book documentary of the great comedian’s life and career clearly designed as an appetizer before the classic films are reissued. While Peter Bogdanovich’s enthusiasm for his subject is undeniable, in many cases his choice of talking heads remains questionable, unless being told that “Jackass 2” was influenced by the Great Stoneface really furthers an understanding of Keaton’s brilliance. Structured as a straightforward life story followed by an extended coda looking in detail at the features Cohen is restoring, “The Great Buster” can’t hold a candle to the 1987 three-part series “Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow” but will make do as a decent DVD extra.

Long recognized, together with Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, as one of the true geniuses of comedy, Keaton’s life is
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