First Journal–‘Sherlock, Jr.’ by Buster Keaton
Film, is a powerful and global language. It could be as influential as the state or as simple as a comedy. For example, it represented the voice of the state of USSR under revolution in 1910-1930s. However, in Buster Keaton’s movie---‘Sherlock, Jr.’, it is just an entertainment, a simple reflection on life, and a playground for filmmakers to exercise their imagination.
In the period of 1910s-1930s, film production was undergoing its primary development. Films changed from pictures into real people on the screen with stories told. When it came to Buster Keaton’s hands, film was not only referring to storytelling, but hilarious imagination—Film within a film. ‘Sherlock, Jr.’ is a film about a projectionist in the cinema, who always dreaming to be a detective. He falls in love with a girl. Yet, he is framed by the villain for theft of the watches of the girl’s father. Buster Keaton is upset and once he projected himself as a successful detective who investigating the mystery of pearl (the projection of watch in the ‘real life’) in the movie that played in the film. In both of his dream and the film, he has his beloved girl and the fact is revealed in the end. The only difference is he is not a hero as he thought in the ‘reality’.
On the surface, the storyline of the file is simple and common love story. However, with the additional inception of Buster Keaton during his nod off of sleep, the story becomes unrestrained. Film is already a platform for dreaming. With a dreaming scene in the film, there is an even bigger platform for the story to shout out and develop impossibilities. It is enjoying when watching ‘Sherlock, Jr.’ as anything may happen in the film. Sometimes Buster Keaton is sitting on the street and sometimes he is sitting with two lions in the forest. It makes me become curious of knowing how the story would continue. The changing scenes that including the train station, the cross, the wooden house...
References: Susan Z. Swan (Oct 29, 2009). Buster Keaton 's Sherlock Jr. a Silent Comedy Gem. Retrieved from http://suite101.com/article/buster-keatons-sherlock-jr-a-silent-comedy-gem-a163764
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