Much is revealed, I think, in this exchange–not just about our respective readings of Buster Keaton films, but about our respective approaches to producing films.
ALEJANDRO ADAMS: “Saw Sherlock Jr. Sorry but The General and Steamboat Bill Jr are so much better than this meta-for-its-own-sake stuff that excites academics”
JARROD WHALEY: “Agree. STEAMBOAT BILL JR. is superior on every level. It’s worth remembering, though, that this was before Barthes, et al.”
AA: “The metacomment(s) on the nature of film editing are tiresomely cerebral compared to organic sprawl of General & Steamboat.”
AA: “This notion of every shot containing an idea–I find myself craving shots that banish ideas altogether. A film as a bared muscle.”
JW: “No argument at all. STEAMBOAT, GENERAL are magic. SHERLOCK shows how the tricks are done.”
JW: “The ideas ought to exist between the shots–in the cuts.”