Buster Keaton was tragic, shattered, a survivor in name only and a genius — he was company for Bresson, Ophuls.

“And it was in the 1920s that Keaton hit his great purple passage: The Three Ages; Our Hospitality; Sherlock Jr; The Navigator; Seven Chances; Battling Butler; The General; College; Steamboat Bill Jr; The Cameraman. In those years, Chaplin made The Gold Rush and The Circus, two fabulous hits. [But] Keaton worked at a more rapid pace, and he made one thing — masterpieces.

“These are the films that any newcomer needs to see. And in that process he or she should realize that the experience is not only comic — it has to do with space, light, movement, duration, time. It is great theatre, but it is music and form, too. These are among the most beautiful films ever made in the silent era.” — from David Thomson‘s 1.29.06 Independent essay, titled “Buster Was Stoked By Genius, But He Hit The Buffers Hard.”

Cohen Media Group will release Peter Boghanovich‘s The Great Buster on 10.5