100 years later, Buster Keaton's legendary film stunts are absolutely jaw-dropping

Buster Keaton's feats still hold up after a century.

There's no question that filmmaking has come a long, long way in 100 years. Thanks to green screens, digital effects and CGI, today's filmmakers can make almost anything they can imagine come to life on screen. Moviegoers have grown used to seeing magical worlds, supernatural powers and impossible feats in movies, we get quite finicky if the quality of the effects doesn't hold up to our high standards.

Sometimes we watch movies from decades ago and giggle at how undeveloped the special effects were. And sometimes we watch old films and marvel at what they were able to do with the technology they had available to them at the time.

That's where Buster Keaton comes in.


Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin were both kings of physical comedy during the heyday of silent film, with Keaton being known for his expressionless physical feats and Chaplin being known for his goofy expressiveness. Both men excelled in their craft, and looking at Buster Keaton's stunts today is still incredibly impressive.

The man was fearless. And so physical. It's like watching "Mission Impossible" Tom Cruise mixed with peak Jackie Chan. But what's most impressive is that he did it all without the benefit of modern film technology. Naturally, there were some 1920s-era film tricks involved in some scenes, but he really did some incredibly difficult and dangerous things—things most people wouldn't even attempt.

Such impressive feats didn't come without a cost, however. Despite his stunt skills, he sustained some significant injuries throughout his film and television career, including broken bones, some severe neck damage and a near-drowning incident.

"He's like a human cartoon," someone commented, and it's true. It's like watching a real-life cartoon. Even today, nearly 100 years later, his physical comedy genius stands out among the best ever. Countless comedians and stunt performers have looked to him as an example and have used his performances as inspiration for their own.

It's not often that we can look back at something someone did a century ago and still hold it up as impressive by today's standards, but Keaton's feats fit that bill. What a treat that we got such a talent captured on film.

Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Arming school personnel as a response to school shootings is a terrible idea.

Every time a school shooting happens, the idea of arming teachers and school administrators gets floated out by folks who believe the NRA mantra, "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." That notion is so ingrained in parts of the American psyche that a common response to repeated mass shootings of schoolchildren in their classrooms is to add more guns to the equation.

I understand the argument being made. If someone already on the scene was armed and prepared to respond to an active shooter without having to wait for law enforcement, perhaps a maniacal killer could be stopped sooner. And if maniacal killers knew that teachers and administrators were likely to be armed, perhaps they wouldn't target schools as much. I get the seeming logic of the idea. I really do.

However, there are several fatal flaws with the argument, starting with the fact that the data simply does not back it up.

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Sandy Hook school shooting survivors are growing up and telling us what they've experienced.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.21


Imagine being 6 years old, sitting in your classroom in an idyllic small town, when you start hearing gunshots. Your teacher tries to sound calm, but you hear the fear in her voice as she tells you to go hide in your cubby. She says, "be quiet as a mouse," but the sobs of your classmates ring in your ears. In four minutes, you hear more than 150 gunshots.

You're in the first grade. You wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus and magic. You're excited about losing your front teeth. Your parents still prescreen PG-rated films so they can prepare you for things that might be scary in them.

And yet here you are, living through a horror few can fathom.

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