Thursday, March 29, 2012

Debra Dean: Workshop

Today is the workshop with Debra Dean. From 8:30-9:45 we will be working in the Ensemble Theater. Please bring a journal and a pencil or pen.

1930's film presentations and the silent film project (uploading of film, i.e., have your film shot and ready to upload) are due Monday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

1930's Style Trends

Some trends in 1930's film:
  • Due to the Great Depression, more films dealt with positive and uplifting themes (generally). Even monster movies or film noir ended on a positive note, with the survivors or gumshoe getting the girl.
  • You may notice that the 1930's films generally use longer cuts. Scenes tend to be a little longer, partly due to dialogue.
  • The "talkies" often edited to match the rhythm of the actor's speech. 
  • Many critics saw the new sound films as a return to the theatre of the turn of the century (1900's)—precisely the type of cinema that the modernist and avant-garde film movements of the 1920s had tried to remove. Many films sound like staged plays. This forces a certain amount of "realism" to "formalist" cinema style.
  • Staging was often done in a studio, as opposed to outside on location. Broad sweeping epics (like those of D.W. Griffith) for the moment are a thing of the past. 
  • For the first time, radio became both a rival to film and a way to integrate both mediums into one.


Today we will deliver our presentations on 1930's film. As you listen to the presentations, please take notes on the handout. I will be collecting these at the end of our class.
  • A key question concerning what we're learning is: What trends and styles do 1930's films illustrate? By contrast how do these films differ from earlier films, particularly those in the 1920's? As you listen to the presentations, consider this question.
If there is time remaining in the period, please continue to upload and work on your film project. By Thursday, you should have your silent movie SHOT.

Friday, March 23, 2012

1930's Presentations & Silent Film Project

Today, please take 20 minutes to upload video for your silent film project (if you have any), allow directors to schedule your film project, aiming for the completion of the film project by next week. Remember that editing takes time!

Also during these 20 minutes, please complete any touches on your presentation you wish to make. I'll be coming around the room and asking for volunteers to present first. If no one volunteers, I will select randomly.

Finally, if you are all caught up on your presentation and your film is nearing completion (or you don't have access to it today), please check out these 1930's clips. If you don't get to view these today, please watch them over the weekend and take notes.
Hell's Angels (1930) Premiere clip (not the film, but the hubbub about the film)
Hell's Angels (1930) clip with Jean Harlow

Anna Christie (1930) With Greta Garbo
Tarzan, The Ape Man (1932) Johnny Weissmuller

Morocco (1930) with Marlene Dietrich

Grand Hotel (1932) with Joan Crawford & John Barrymore

King Kong (1933) starring a large gorilla, Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray
King Kong (2nd clip)

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) Clark Gable & Charles Laughton
It Happened One Night (1934) Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
Captain Blood (1935) with Errol Flynn & Basil Rathbone (documentary clip)


As you watch the presentations, please fill out the 1930's note sheet with appropriate details about what you learn from your peers. Turn these in at the end of class for participation credit.

Any presentations we did not get to today will be delivered on Tuesday, next week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sound, 1930's Films & Projects

Sound in film can either be diegetic (sound that belongs in the 'world of the film'; for example sound effects)
Non diegetic (sound that is added outside the world of the film; i.e, a soundtrack or theme music that sets tone). Any time you use non diegetic sound, you are moving down the continuum from realism towards formalism.

A person who designs and records sound is called a foley artist. Take a look at this website for details about the career of a foley artist and tips on how to effectively use sound in film.

Task: Using your homework (the notes you took in your film journal/notebook on the documentary concerning sound), take 10 minutes this morning and complete the following task (to be turned in as participation credit).
1. Find five different people in the class and "interview" them as to deliver ONE piece of information from their notes about what they learned from the documentary that they thought was essential, interesting, unbelievable, or important.
2. For each of your "interviews" write down the person who gave you the information and the information.
At the end of the exercise (10 minutes) turn in as much information as you have.

The rest of class, please continue working on your research projects on the 1930's (due Friday) and your silent film project.

HOMEWORK: Silent film project & 1930's Topic Presentation.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Invention of Sound

Joseph P. Maxfield (AT&T’s Bell Laboratories) invented the first phonograph linked to film (licensed by Victor as the Orthophonic Victrola) which became the basis for the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system.

The Vitaphone allowed actors to lipsync their performance while the sound was recorded after; (This helped to popularize animation!)

The first sound film was Don Juan in 1926. The Jazz Singer (1927), directed by Alan Crosland, starring famous vaudeville actor, Al Jolson is popularly given this award. Really both films were songs or music in Don Juan's case, that were played along and synched with the film. The Jazz Singer gave birth to the Hollywood musical genre.

Warner Bros. and Fox Film began wiring their theatres for sound as early as 1926. By 1928, Western Electric developed a sound-on-film system, which later developed a new competitive major studio: Radio-Keith-Orpheum or RKO.

The conversion to sound created both positive and negative effects for Film:

A. Led to a revival of national film elsewhere in the world
B. Cinema owners did not have to hire musicians for an in-house orchestra
C. Silent films were easier to distribute across the world (no need to translate) which later creates the need for dubbing (1932 -- ex. Paramount studios); before this, multi-lingual films make stars like Marlene Dietrich, Maurice Chevalier, Bela Lugosi, Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo, and Peter Lore more important--since they can speak different languages (and therefore sync their voices to film).
D. Film became a single media event
E. Films came to the theatres as final products, whole and complete
F. The immersive qualities of film and the viewer become inseparable
G. Dialogue became a necessity to tell the plot of a film
A. Produced panic and confusion in Hollywood
B. Many musicians lost their jobs
C. Early sound films from America were boycotted by certain countries; films were not as widely distributed, more costly to translate.
D. Silent film culture was destroyed
E. Films did not require additional music, some ambiance was lost -- sound film was seen as the killer of “film as the seventh art form”
F. Film was no longer a “theatrical” or “artistic” event
G. Dialogue became a necessity to tell the plot of a film
HOMEWORK: (For Wednesday) Please watch the following documentary on the history of sound and take notes in your film journal. In particular, please note what you found to be interesting, unbelievable, or parts of the documentary that seem to be essential or important information. Here is the film documentary. It runs about half an hour. The Birth of Sound  and The Birth of Sound (part two)

The Golden Age of Film & Silent Film Project

The 1930's is considered the Golden Age of Film. Please select and sign up for one of the following groupings and prepare a short Powerpoint, brochure, or Prezi presentation for your topics. Research each topic and provide basic information including: who is this person or what is this? and what films or significant impact did this person/genre have on the film industry? NOTE: please cover only the 1930's (particularly with some actors or directors whose careers span several decades...we are currently only interested in the 1930's).

Your presentations will be shared with the class beginning Friday, but also stretching into next week. When you are not working on your presentations, please continue working on your silent film project.

Topics include (actors, genres, & directors/producers):
  • Greta Garbo & Marlene Dietrich
  • Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Johnny Weissmuller
  • Joan Crawford & Bette Davis
  • Shirley Temple & Mickey Rooney
  • Spenser Tracy & Katherine Hepburn
  • Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers
  • The Marx Brothers & The Three Stooges
  • Popeye the Sailor & Walt Disney Studios.
  • Laurel & Hardy & The Little Rascals
  • 1930's Prison Films & 1930's Gangster Films
  • 1930's Westerns & 1930's Film Noir
  • 1930's Musicals & 1930's Comedies (Screwball)
  • 1930's Literary Epics (movies based on books)
  • 1930's Horror films & 1930's Adventure films
  • David Selznick & Samuel Goldwyn
  • Irving Thalberg & Erich Von Stroheim
  • Joseph Von Sternberg & Fritz Lang
  • Frank Capra & George Cukor
  • Jack Conway & King Vidor
  • Sam Wood & Victor Fleming
Please use today's lab time to continue making progress on your silent film project.
HOMEWORK: Shoot your film. Bring in your film for editing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Test: & Silent Film Project

After our test, please work on your silent film project(s).

HOMEWORK: Please read the article "The Movies Learn to Speak" for Monday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Odds & Ends: Test, Project, Coffeehouse, etc.

Various announcements:

1. You have a major exam on Thursday. Spend time today studying. It covers a lot of names, dates, films, and concepts. See previous posts for study guide.

2. After studying use the time today to complete the following for your silent film movie project:
  • All: Create a treatment/arrangement of scenes. Decide on what scenes are necessary to effectively tell your story using film media. A treatment of your film (with working title) is required for this project!
  • Editors and Cinematographers: select still photography or images for your film from the internet for establishing shots, if needed.
  • Writers and editors: begin working with your editor to create intertitles. These can be made before you shoot your film.
  • Editors & Cinematographers: begins uploading any film footage you have already shot. Once your film is uploaded, you may begin the editing process. NOTE: DO NOT WAIT FOR THE ENTIRE FILM TO BE COMPLETE BEFORE YOU BEGIN EDITING. Editing is a long process. Get started!
  • Editors & Sound Designers: use Garage Band or the internet or iMovie to select sound cues and music for your film.
  • Directors & Cinematographers: decide when you need your actors and for which scenes. Work with your assistant or the actors in your group to find a time that is mutual for shooting your treatment.
  • Directors & Casting Agents: If you need actors, come to the auditions tonight and see if you can recruit. If you have friends, family members, or such arrange to meet with them to shoot various scenes.
3. Our coffeehouse is next week (Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00). Please join us as we celebrate your work and the work of the senior class.

4. Auditions for the Playwrights' Festival will be held today and Thursday in a238 after school. Playwrights: it is important for you to attend at least one (if not both) of these auditions so that you can select a cast for your play.

5. Interested actors: please audition for the Playwrights' Festival. Help your fellow students out by acting in our production. If you are interested in directing, please see me or Ms. Gamzon today.

Kaisean's film documentary:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Silent Film Project

After our viewing and coverage of Eisenstein and Expressionism this morning, we will return to the lab to continue working on our silent film projects. Please read the instructions again.

By the end of today's class: you should have the basic story or treatment of your film done. If you do not have this completed, please complete over the weekend. But get it done.

HOMEWORK: Study for the exam. See below. Also, begin shooting your silent film if possible.

A sample student film might look like this one by Justice Dunwoody.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

German Expressionism & Early Horror Cinema


“Why should an artist duplicate the real world when it already exists for everyone to see?”
• Begins in Europe around 1906 in painting and theatre
• Style is unrealistic, stylized
• Attention often given to angles
• Distorted perspectives
• Narrow, tall streets and buildings (set pieces)
• Lighting is “dramatic”; Use of shadows
• Actors are grotesque, exaggerated make-up
• Dark, nightmarish tones & moods
• Attempt to show the interior lives of characters through exteriors
• Expressionism influences Futurism (and Modernism)
• Expressionism influences Film Noir in the 1930’s
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari – Robert Weine (director) 1919

On, please view clips from the following:

Murnau's Nosferatu (1922)
Wegener's Der Golem (1920)
Carl Laemmle's Phantom of the Opera (unmasking scene) and the Red Death Masquerade scene (1925)
Leni's' The Cat and the Canary (1927)

These movies, along with Dr. Caligari, are influential in creating the "horror" genre in film. Why is expressionism a good stylistic choice for horror films?

Nosferatu (1922) Full film
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (full film)
Der Golem (full film)
The Cat and the Canary (full film - silent)
The Phantom of the Opera (full film)

Contemporary films like this one also pay homage to the style: Careful by Guy Maddin (1992)

Sergei Eisenstein

Montage song from South Park, Season 6.
As film continued to gain popularity, the film culture around the world inspired various directors and auteurs to create new and exciting films. The most influential film maker of early Russian film was Sergei Eisenstein.

Eisenstein is remembered in film for his contribution of the montage. The montage changed the way filmmakers approached film. It allows a filmmaker to tell a story through a sequence of shots that manipulate time. It is still used today and carries with it a psychological impact. In a script it is indicated by a series of descriptive lines, each spaced apart to indicate a series of shots, rather than description that would indicate one shot or scene.

Here's a few clips from some of his films:

Battleship Potemkin (Odessa Step Sequence) (1925)


Alexander Nevsky (battle on the ice sequence) - Music by Sergei Prokofiev

Ivan the Terrible

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Film Exam (Prep)

Your unit test will cover the following material. All material mentioned was either referenced and discussed below in the blog (check and review blog entries), the handouts from Turning Points in Film, or from Tim Dirks website (Film History). Please refer to your notes and study. This test covers a lot, please study. Please. No. Really. Study.
  • Styles of film: realism, classicism, formalism
  • Film Treatment (how to write one) & definition of a film pitch
  • Early film invention: Magic Lantern, Daguerreotype, Celluloid, Kinetoscope, Mutoscope, Praxinoscope, Thaumatrope, etc.
  • Edweard Muybridge, photography, & the Zoopraxinoscope
  • The Lumiere Brothers & their films (The Sprinkler Sprinkled, Arrival of a Train, etc.)
  • Pathe Frere Manufacturing Company (Charles Pathe)
  • Pathe Films: Aladin and the Wonderful Lamp; Onesime the Clock Maker; Slippery Jim; The Policeman's Little Run
  • Thomas Edison and the Edison Manufacturing Company: various films (Sandow the Strongman, Serpentine Dances, Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz (1910), Uncle Josh films, Life of an American Fireman, etc.
  • The Black Maria
  • Augustin Le Prince
  • W.K.L. Dickson
  • Hepworth Manufacturing Company (Cecil B. Hepworth)
  • Hepworth's films:Rescued by Rover ; How It Feels to be Run Over; Explosion of a Motor Car; That Fatal Sneeze; Alice in Wonderland
  • George Melies & A Trip to the Moon
  • Persistence of Vision
  • Etinnene-Jules Marey
  • George Eastman
  • Edwin S. Porter & his films: The Great Train Robbery ; Dream of a Rarebit Fiend
  • Actualities & Blue Movies
  • D.W. Griffith and his contribution to film (also his Intolerance, Way Down East, and Birth of a Nation)
  • Billy Bitzer
  • Lillian Gish
  • Early film comedy and comedians (particularly The Keystone Kops, Mack Sennett, Mabel Normand, Harold Lloyd, etc.)
  • Charlie Chaplin (various films; we watched the Rink in class, but others were mentioned)
  • Buster Keaton (One Week, The Haunted House, The General, various films)
  • Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle & his scandal (Hays Code chapter)
  • Hollywood (the origin and development of)
  • Eisenstein & Montage & Battleship Potemkin (Odessa Step sequence)
  • Types of Shots (close up, medium shot, full shot, deep focus shot, long shot, extreme close up and long shots, panning, dolly/tracking shot, etc.)
  • Types of Angles (high, low, bird's eye, oblique, etc.) 
  • Advice about Camera shots
  • Early independent film studios/the Hollywood Studio System
  • Early major film studios (1920-1930)
  • Sid Grauman
  • The Hays Code
  • German Expressionism
  • F. W. Murnau & Nosferatu
  • Robert Weine & The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  • Birt Acres
  • R.W. Paul
  • Alice Guy-Blache
  • Mack Sennett
  • Oscar Micheaux
  • Minorities in film 
  • Other important film stars: Douglas Fairbanks sr., Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, Janet Gaynor, Clara Bow, W.C. Fields, Greta Garbo, Conrad Viedt, Lois Weber, etc.
  • Auteur, Story, Plot, Order, Narration, Narrative Form
  • Diegesis
  • Scene, Sequence, Frequency, Ellipsis
  • Motif
  • Space, Viewing Time, Duration
  • Film Reviews and how to write them

Silent Film Project

Today, please do the following during period 1:

A. Read, watch, and take notes on the material on Minorities in Film and Camera Advice posted below (Monday and Tuesday's blog entries).

B. Study for your Unit Exam (exam is next week and covers a lot of material)

2nd Period:

A. Get into groups of 1 (working solo) up to 5. (No group will be given credit for more than 5 people in it) and come up with a film idea or treatment. Choose the best idea and treatment from your group to make into a silent film. Each member of a group is responsible for shooting, editing, and creating the intertitles for a silent film. Your silent film should be no longer than 5 minutes in length. It should include intertitles as appropriate, opening credits, and closing credits. You may use music to underscore your film, of course.

Generally jobs that you will need to fill:

1. Director (this person makes sure the film comes together)
2. Cinematographer/Director of Photography (the person shooting the film; decides how to shoot the film photographically)
3. Grip(s) (people to move objects around/carry the camera, props, etc.
4. Gaffer (deals with lighting)
5. Casting director (gets actors for the film or assigns parts)
6. Script Writer (handles the treatment and intertitles)
7. Editor (edits the film)
8. Actors (people to play various parts; these people may be from outside of our class, if deemed necessary or available.)
9. Your credits should give credit to any music you use
10. Please make sure you have credits where you indicate who did what job.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Alice Guy Blache, Oscar Michaeux, & Minority Voices

While most of the pioneers of early film were male Caucasians, the lack of minority voices in film was filled by two very important filmmakers: Alice Guy Blache and Oscar Micheux. While we will focus on these two primarily, they are far from the only minority voices around. Gay & Lesbian, Asian, Latino, and other influential filmmakers begin working in this time period.

Today, watch a few of their film clips and take notes on important details. By the end of the lesson you should begin to ask yourself the question: why is minority cinema important? What is the future of minority cinema? How does knowing a little history help minority artists?

Oscar Michaeux was the first black film director.  Within Our Gates (1919) (music underscore added recently) and his film in its entirety for those interested Within Our Gates (full film). Evelyn Preer was one of the early black actresses. She was also a popular singer. Here's one of her songs: It Takes a Good Woman to Keep a Good Man at Home. You can hear the rhythms of the jazz age (late 1920's). Think of the book Ragtime. Sadly, in American film, it is not until 1991 that the first African-American female director appears (Julie Dash). However, since then, more black female directors have joined the ranks.

The first female director is:
Alice Guy Blache
The Cabbage Fairy (1896)
The Life of Christ (1906) (our first religious epic depicted in film, predating Cecil B. DeMille)
The Pit and the Pendulum (1913)
You can see Taylor & Mariah's film documentary on Alice in the post below.

Various films by the early filmmaker Alice Guy.

Lois Weber, an American female, was also a silent film actress and then director. She invented the first use of the split screen technique in her film Suspense (1913).
Other films include the Blot (1921) and Hypocrites (the first full frontal nudity depicted in film outside of "art film" like Edweard Muybridge's work.) She, too, is important.

As for gay and lesbian films of the early silent film era, there are a few. Apart from two men dancing in the film by Edison, the first depiction of one of the sissy stereotype characters is Algie the Miner (1912). The film was directed by Alice Guy Blache. The first butch male-to-male kissing scene is the fall of Babylon sequence in D.W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916). It also features a pretty kick-ass heroine: mountain girl. 
A little gender bending: Vitagraph's A Florida Enchantment (1914)

German film was one of the first to tackle gay subjects head-on. Here's the film Anders als die Andern (Different from the Others, 1919) by Richard Oswald. It stars Conrad Viedt (see below). The lesbian film Madchen in Uniform was made in 1931 (and is a talky, so we won't but mention it here). If you're interested in this film, you may also like the 1933 film Anna und Elisabeth. (This is only a clip, sound is not original, of course.)

Latino silent film information can be found here. There is little on line to watch (sorry about that). And Asian film star Sessue Hayakawa starred in such films as The Typhoon (1914) and The Dragon Painter (1919). He signed on with Paramount Pictures (Famous Players Lasky) where he worked with Cecil B. DeMille in such movies as The Cheat (1915). The first Japanese feature film was made in 1912, the Life Story of Tasuke Shiobara. The director Dadasaheb Phalke is considered the father of Indian film, although Asian film begins in the late 1890's. It is interesting to note that the first optical toy (a primitive zoetrope) was invented by Ting Huan in 180 AD in China. By the end of the silent film era, most countries have begun to make films. Of particular note are the directors we will look at next class: Sergei Eisenstein & Robert Wiene (Russian and German Expression films).

But for now...

Early Film Stars from Hollywood:
From your notes you should also know the following blockbuster film stars of the early screen. Please watch their clips. Various famous Hollywood actors:

Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in the Thief of Baghdad (1924), The Mark of Zorro (1920); the full version of The Thief of Baghdad can be found here. It's really a good film, all told. Douglas Fairbanks was known for doing his own stunts.
Rudolph Valentino's The Son of the Shiek (1926) & the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), Blood and Sand (1924)
Mary Pickford (1917) The Poor Little Rich Girl
America's Lovebirds or America's Sweethearts:Janet Gaynor & Charles Farrell
Clara Bow in It (1927)
Conrad Viedt
The Man of a Thousand Faces, Lon Chaney, The Phantom of the Opera (complete silent film, 1924), The Unmasking Scene from Phantom, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Moment With Our Camera

The 5 Deadly Sins of Amateur Video

Basic Camera Movement

On an unrelated (that is I don't want you to connect what I've posted above to criticize Taylor and Mariah's film, but please watch this student film from the film project.)

Alice Guy Blache

Sunday, March 4, 2012

D.W. Griffith & Catching Up

Please work with Mrs. Dankert to learn about D.W. Griffith today. If you finish your viewing early, please use the time in the lab to catch up. Many of you have not turned in your Feb. Break Film History homework. Please complete this and turn in late.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

D.W. Griffith

D.W. Griffith was called the "Father of film technique" & "the man who invented Hollywood"

Birth of a Nation trailer.

With cinematographer G.W. Bitzer, he created and perfected the film devices:
the iris shot
the flashback
He directed the very controversial The Birth of a Nation (1915) Based on Thomas Dixon's stage play "The Clansman" Over 3 hours long, the racist epic included a cast of hundreds. The film contained many new film innovations:
Special use of subtitles
Its own musical score with orchestra
Introduction of night photography
Used a "still shot"
Used an "Iris shot"
Used parallel action
Used panning and tracking shots
Used close-ups to reveal intimate expressions of actors
Used fade outs and cameo-profiles
Used high-angles and panoramic (extreme) long shots
Used cross cutting between two scenes to create excitement and suspense
Here's a clip from Birth of a Nation.

A year later his masterpiece Intolerance (1916) was made as a reaction to the censorship of Birth of a Nation

Part one: Intolerance.
Part Four: Intolerance.

In 1919 he established the film company United Artists with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and William S. Hart

Overall, Griffith directed over 500 films. He retired in 1931 and died in Los Angeles in 1948. In 1975 his picture was on a post stamp. But by 1999, The Director's Guild of America's National Board renamed the prestigious D.W. Griffith Award (first given in 1953 to such directors as Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman, John Ford, Akira Kurosawa, and Cecil B. DeMille) because of Griffith's racism.
"We do not fear censorship, for we have no wish to offend with improprieties or obscenities, but we do demand, as a right, the liberty to show the dark side of wrong, that we may illuminate the bright side of virtue - the same liberty that is conceded to the art of the written word - that art to which we owe the Bible and the works of Shakespeare."
D.W. Griffith (1915)
"If in this work we have conveyed to the mind the ravages of war to the end that war may be held in abhorrence, this effort will not have been in vain." - D. W. Griffith (1915)

Please take a look at these clips and films starring Lilian Gish.

Way Down East (1920) Probably the most amazing stunt ever pulled in cinema history. Please realize that these actors really were doing their own stunts. That water is cold and yes, those are ice floes.

Orphans of the Storm (1921) (with sister Dorothy Gish)
Judith of Bethulia (1913) (entire film)

Buster Keaton

It is important to realize that actors back in the early days of film really did their own stunts. Comedy and slapstick particularly were rather dangerous. Here A Montage of Buster Keaton

Joseph Frank Keaton was given his professional name by Harry Houdini. "Buster" Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966), was an American comic actor and filmmaker. He got his start as part of a vaudeville act and later co-starred with plump actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle in "The Butcher Boy". Here's a clip of one of their films. He is best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was farce or physical comedy with a stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face".

In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Keaton as one of the greatest male actors of all time. His film The General is listed as one of the greatest 100 films. (You can watch The General in its entirety below).

For those of you most interested in Keaton's life and work, here's an excellent website.

Take a look at some of his work:
One Week (1920)

The Paleface (1921)

The Haunted House (1921)

Sherlock Jr (1924)

The Scarecrow (1920)

The General (1927) Full Length Feature Film
Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) Full Length Feature Film

The Murky Middle (Even More Advice)

Aristotle wrote that stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. Middles can be difficult. You might have a smashing opening to a stor...