Buster Keaton, argues Roger Ebert, was ‘the greatest of the silent clowns, not only because of what he did, but because of how he did it. Harold Lloyd made us laugh as much, Charlie Chaplin moved us more deeply, but no one had more courage than Buster. In films that combined comedy with extraordinary physical risks, Buster Keaton played a brave spirit who took the universe on its own terms, and gave no quarter.’ JDIFF presents two classic short films from Keaton’s heyday in the 1920s. In One Week a man trying to build a house struggles for his life as a tornado tears through his property, while in Cops, a man spurned by his lover finds himself pursued by half the police force of the United States. The stunts – many of them real and performed by Keaton himself – are breathtaking, and the comedy, thanks to Keaton’s deadpan delivery, is still wonderfully fresh.
Alistair Daniel, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival
Morgan Cooke is composer in residence and performer with Branar Drámaíochta, who do puppet theatre for children. Morgan has been performing live, improvised soundtracks to silent movies since 2009, starting with Metropolis. Morgan is also a voiceover artist, and worked on TG4’s version of Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock.