Table of Contents
Motivation of filmmakers
Innovation of movie styles ----Stunt
2． Innovation of movie styles ---Film-in-film style
3． The proverb in the first scene
4. Pace of the film & the scenes about ‘one dollar’
The same actions, different outcomes
1. Buster Keaton---------------leading actor; projectionist in the reality/ Sherlock. Jr. in the film (I will call him ‘The projectionist’ in the following text.) 2. Kathryn McGuire-----------the leading actress (I will call her ‘The girl’) 3. Ward Crane------------------The Local Sheik in the reality/ The Villain in the film (I will call him ‘The Villain’) 4. Joe Keaton-------------------The Girl’s Father in the reality [The father of Buster Keaton] 5. Erwin Connelly-------------The hired Man in the reality/ The Butler in the film
The whole movie could be separated into four parts:
The first part was before Buster Keaton arrived at the girl’s house. The second part happened in the girl’s house.
The third part and the fourth part mixed together. But in general, we could say that the third part was in the reality and that the fourth part was fake existing in the film.
The first part mainly introduced the main characters and the characteristics of each character. Thus, the first part wasn’t related to the storyline. The projectionist dreamed to be a detective, so he was usually reading books teaching people how to be a detective. He bought a 1-dollar box of candy in the confectionery in order to propose to his lover. In order to satisfy his girl, he changed the present’s prize to $4. A villain, who also loved the girl, stole and sold the girl’s father’s watch, then incriminated the projectionist. The poor projectionist applied the detective skills from the book to the reality, but finally proved that he was the theft. Thus, the relationship between him and the girl was broken up. Instead of giving up, he shadowed the villain. Unluckily he was found by his rival. After being teased, the projectionist went back to the cinema with sadness and depression. While he was working as a projectionist, he fell asleep. The film in his dream was exactly the same as the reality. However, in the film, or we can say in his dream, he became a successful detective. He was so brave and wise to catch the thieves and recover the lost pearl. He also won back respect and his girl in his own film. When he woke up, he realized it was just a dream. But his lovely girl had already found the truth, proven his innocence and come the cinema for apologizing. The projectionist imitated the action in the film and finally succeeded in proposing to his girl.
Motivation of filmmakers
Without any doubt, one of the theme of ‘Sherlock Jr.’ was that proverb----Don’t’ try to do two things at once and expect to de justice to both. But I believe there was the deeper gist. Because dream was one of topics in ‘Sherlock Jr.’, I once thought this film was a typical Hollywood movie about ’American Dream’. However, the phrase ‘American Dream’ was popularized by American historian James Truslow Adams in his book Epic of America in 1931.So it didn’t make sense that Sherlock Jr. was a symbol of ‘American Dream’. When being aware of the background, one idea came into my mind: Background 1:
‘Sherlock Jr.’ was filmed in 1924, which belonged to the roaring twenties of America. The Roaring twenties is a term sometimes used to refer to the 1920s, characterizing the decade’s distinctive cultural edge in New York City, and many other major cities during a period of sustained economic prosperity.  Besides, the World War 1 was over in 1918. America got a lot of money from the Europe so that the USA could recover from the recession before. It was a period that American people didn’t’ need to worry about food and job and look forward a higher life standard. Although people have...
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