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Taking PlaceLocation and the Moving Image$
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John David Rhodes and Elena Gorfinkel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665167

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665167.001.0001

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From Venice to the Valley: California Slapstick and the Keaton Comedy Short

From Venice to the Valley: California Slapstick and the Keaton Comedy Short

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 From Venice to the Valley: California Slapstick and the Keaton Comedy Short
Source:
Taking Place
Author(s):

Charles Wolfe

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816665167.003.0001

This chapter explores two of Buster Keaton’s short comedies, both examples of what has been called California slapstick: The High Sign (1922) and The Balloonatic (1923). Both films, which were shot in and around the seaside resort of Venice, California, give evidence of a peculiar moment in the social and material geography of metropolitan Los Angeles during a critical period in the histories of the city and the Los Angeles-based film industry. Apart from the stimulation of their entertaining, intensely physical hilarity, Keaton’s films give us an example of the mutual implications of the film technology and suburbia, both of which were involved in making sense of modernity’s propensity toward an experience of dislocation.

Keywords:   Buster Keaton, comedy, films, The High Sing, The Balloonatic, California slapstick, comedies, Los Angeles

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