The Trylon’s celebrated 5th Anniversary Silent Film Festival has been a rousing success, and it closes this weekend with the man who started it all: Buster Keaton. Five years ago we presented a month of sold-out Keaton shows to inaugurate the Trylon, and we’ve been going strong ever since. Come enjoy Go West, Keaton’s western masterpiece, with live accompaniment by Rats and People MN. This a hilarious send up of a genre that, by 1925, was already in need of a good ribbing!
Review by Trylon regular Ben Schmidt.
No spoilers here, I refuse to tell you why or how Buster Keaton goes West. But soon after he does so the following occurs:
Unexpectedly, our hero ends up on a cattle ranch, a fish out of water. He’s poor. Hungry. Trying to fit in.
While out trying to help the other workers, a cow limps past him. He approaches it cautiously, still not used to this place, or its people, or these animals. Mustering a bit of courage, he pats her head. At rest, or in his company, she seems content.
So he grabs her bum leg and sees a rock has lodged in her hoof. He removes it, making it a point to show her the cause of her pain before dropping it to the ground. All better now.
A second passes. Keaton glances down at their feet, at this rock that now rests on the ground. No. That won’t do. As cow looks on, he snatches up the rock up and digs a small hole. Then quickly buries it as best as he’s able, ensuring no harm will come to her ever again.
It’s disarmingly thoughtful, and so damned sweet, and just one of the many reasons I was so taken with this film. I’d never witnessed Keaton’s wonderful attention to detail and timing, but I now understand why this film from 1924 remains fresh and funny.
For neophytes like myself, it’s testament to Keaton’s talent as actor and director, and to his alarmingly wonderful attention to detail and timing.
No wonder this film from 1924 remains so funny and engaging.
Though tiny keychain-gunplay never hurts either…
Ben Schmidt is a writer: strong of beard, smooth of voice.
Go West screens Friday and Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30; Sunday at 5:00 and 7:30. Purchase tickets here.