DVD of the Week – “The Art of Buster Keaton” Box Set
by HELEN GEIB
My DVD pick for this week is the box set “The Art of Buster Keaton” released by Kino. The set isn’t new- in fact, it’s been out for a few years now; however, I spent the weekend watching silent movies at Cinevent and it put me in the mood to recommend this fantastic collection of films by my favorite comedian. The set includes all of Keaton’s pre-MGM silent feature films, produced between 1920 and 1928, plus more than a dozen of the comedy shorts he made from 1920-1923.
The features are The Saphead (1920), The Three Ages (1923), Our Hospitality (1923), Sherlock, Jr. (1924) (pictured), The Navigator (1924), Go West (1925), Seven Chances (1925), Battling Butler (1926), The General (1926), College (1927), and Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928). The shorts are distributed among the ten discs as extras.
The transfers are from high quality (or at least best available) 35 mm prints and all features and shorts have original scores. The discs are also available individually, although the set comes with a price break and a separate disc of extras, a grab bag of material under the name “Keaton Plus” that includes some educational shorts and commercials Keaton appeared in, “This Is Your Life” episode, and home movies.
Note: Keaton’s final silent features, The Cameraman and Spite Marriage, are also available on DVD as two-thirds of the “Buster Keaton Collection.”